Joie De Vivre Tuesday #13: Nazook
Posted by Shannon on 04/12/2011
Everything began on a Sunday morning back in 2009, on a chillingly cold winter morning in Washington state…
My best friend and I sat holding mugs of brewed Tully’s coffee having an AM chat on the couch. He went to the kitchen and brought out a half dozen nazooks he’d zapped in the microwave for a few seconds to soften and warm them a bit. He laughed as my eyes temporarily widened at the taste, knowing I’m a sugar/sweets fiend.
The happiness it brought me after one bite still happens each time I have another to this day…
The light pastry, slightly sweet, was quickly chased by the taste of a quietly sweet cheese filling. Unlike a cheese danish, this was a new taste, baked neatly in a small dough envelope no larger than an envelope you receive w/ a flower delivery. Traditionally, Armenians serve the little cookie desserts for guests and visitors. The filling is sugar, milk, butter, vanilla, flour, and some variations also use sour cream.
Flash forward two years. I’m living in California, working in Southbay. This is now a hot August afternoon in 2010. I take the elevator 12 floors down to my office building’s only cafe. I grab my tofu & veggie stirfry and as I approach the little counter to pay… I see the round Costco container.
The foodie memory flashes back into my mind: Cold winter day, talking with my best friend. Good times & smiles, comfortable, sugar. The price was 3-for-$1. Done deal.
Over the nearly two years I’ve worked here, the cafe name has changed from Corner Blessing Cafe to 9800 Cafe. The owners have gone from a fiesty Korean mom and daughter (Tae & Jina), to a Korean husband and wife duo (Aiden & his wife) who have re-vamped and done what they can to improve the menu and selection/variety. They also tried upping the price to $1.50 for three. After my brief revolt/strike/refusal to buy… the price came back down to $1-for-3… so I remain a near-daily purchaser.
Yes, at times I have eaten them before my salad or veggies for lunch have been purchased and my friends have received their to-go entrées…. so? I’ve done the math and know I could simply buy them myself at Costco for cheaper. But what is the fun in that? “Sometimes it’s the little things” that make you happy, as my best friend who introduced me to nazook still reminds me to this day. And he’s right, at times, something as simple as a tiny Armenian pastry