On the Wings of Visitors Come Sweet Things
February 19, 2012 § Leave a comment
On the day before the new year, the line at Art’s Bakery is bustling with customers who have a single-minded intensity. The object of their affections is the nazook, the specialty of the house and the reason why passing drivers will abruptly pull over at the sight of short lines there. Satisfyingly rich but not cloyingly sweet, the golden brown pastry is a key staple in Armenian hospitality—the flaky sweets are oft served with a dose of heavy coffee or else a cup of brisk black tea, the kind that is sometimes enjoyed with a sugar cube clenched in between teeth. Either way, nazooks make for a perfect afternoon repast to offer visitors.
Some nazooks are stuffed with sweet fillings, usually a confectionary array of nuts, but the ones at Art’s are more austere, with a subtle and sugary middle. Even without an extravagant filling, the golden, buttery crust yields easily to a warm interior that is closer to the consistency of a chewy shortbread or than the moist sponginess of cake. The almond-infused pastry is a tender and addictive treat, though, especially when it is enjoyed still warm from the oven. Thanks to the popularity of these sweet treats, the ovens at Art’s fire several times a day, and the odds of getting your hands on freshly baked treats are good (provided you get there before they sell out).
If you find yourself expecting friends or family to pay a visit, you would be wise to pick up a small batch of Art’s finest. A regular size nazook and a smaller version (“mini nazook”) are sold at $6 a pound, which usually comes to less than a dollar each, a deliciously affordable luxury. But be careful: these pastries are so addictive that your guests may not leave until the nazooks run out.Art’s Bakery 1122 E Chevy Chase Dr Glendale, CA 91205 (818) 552-5053 www.artsbakeryglendale.com