Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Durumlu Marul -- Children in the Streets of Marash

Writing about the cheese and bread "durums' in yesterday's post (see http://marashgirl.blogspot.com/2012_12_01_archive.html) brought to mind the following.

There was a day when Marash Girl heard the word "marul", or "salata" or lettuce, or salad, and thought of only one thing:  iceberg lettuce.  There was no other kind, was there? Only as an adult did she realize that there were other lettuce choices -- not just big round crunchy heads of iceberg lettuce.  (Had the family favorite been iceberg lettuce, or had the market changed?)  Suddenly there were all kinds of lettuces available at the Star Market in Newtonville, and romaine lettuce became a favorite of the family.  With romaine lettuce, came one of Grandpa Peter's favorite stories -- the tale of 8 year old brother Paul walking through the streets of Marash in the early 1900's, carrying a tray of young romaine lettuces above his head, selling to the Turkish women in their neighborhood (the women were not allowed to buy from adult men, and thus Paul, or Boghos, as he was known then, had a captive market). "Durumlu marul," Boghos would call out; "durumlu marul"!

N.B. Search as she might for the meaning of "durum" (in this case meaning rolled or oblong roll-like as in a wrap or romaine lettuce), Marash Girl found no official translation.  If you know of one, please make note in the comments below.


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