When we crave hummus or stuffed grape leaves; when our mouths water for lebne and fresh pita bread; when large grocery stores of packaged and processed foods with too many choices and paralyzing cereal aisles begin to weigh us down, we head to the Armenian stores of Watertown.
There within a couple of blocks are five or six stores, all boasting the foods we love and crave. They are small and manageable filled with all the smells, spices, and goods that represent so much of the wonder of the Middle East.
They sit competitively on Mount Auburn Street in Watertown and are known throughout the area. Their names are words like Massis and Arax and Sevan and all hold tastes of familiarity and home, tastes of the middle east.
As soon as we get home we set out our mezzes in the pottery plate we bought in Jerusalem. The separated parts of the plate are perfect for the variety of foods we have purchased. Mouths watering, we put out our food treasures, anxious to sit down and eat.
And in those moments, as we dip fresh pita bread into hummus laced with pungent olive oil and sprinkled with the deep red spice of sumac, we live out our longing for a place through food.