>Mezes are tapas-like, small portions of food that is served to go along with the Turkish national drink ‘Raki.’ There is a whole ‘Raki Culture’ related to how the drink is to be consumed slowly, in accord with the food and the conversation. But most of the same foods that are used as mezes can also be found in any Turkish home, cooked as the appetizer or cold vegetable dish that is served before the main meal.
My mother, Nuko, before she became a businesswoman, used to be renowned for her splendid tables and endless hospitality; she spent many years feeding whoever walked in through our doors, sometimes to the point of detriment to the guests’ health. Insistence is the sign of a truly outstanding hostess in our culture. One time I heard my mother-in-law, boasting to my mother about how many people had to go to the emergency room after leaving her table, I have heard of at least one heart attack and one near-collapse, while Nuko responded with stories of her own.
She rarely has time to cook these days but, she still absolutely loves to roast eggplants. According to my mother, the messiest job that I have a major aversion to, is the easiest thing in the world and she is sure to have it on hand anytime she entertains. Since I too love the end result, I tackled my demons for this special evening and came through ok, I think. Once you roast the eggplant in the broiler of your oven, the rest is up to you and your preference.