>> Wembie | Eat the World NYC

17 October 2018



Early in the evening on a recent visit to the Queens International Night Market, I found Wembie empty on both trips to the stand. Most patrons to the market were starting to shuffle in and look for meals, far from ready to take care of their sweet tooth. But having been fortified by other foods in Queens already, this was the perfect time to be their first customer of the night.

While Moldovan waffle rolls were the draw in the beginning, they have expanded to include another dessert from a different underserved country here in New York City, adding the farm cheese donuts native to Bashkortostan. This autonomous republic within Russia bumps up to the western slopes of the Ural Mountains in the south of the country near Kazakhstan.

The new banner is up with their new logo and emblazoned "Moldovan-Bashkir Cuisine," although this is a bit of a misnomer. These desserts are a connection to each proprietor's childhood, but exist completely separately except here at this market, probably the only place in the world that will see this particular fusion.

The original Moldovan waffle rolls ($5 for two, above) are filled with your choice of chocolate or vanilla whipped cheesecake, thicker than what appear to be simple frosting and much more enjoyable and rich. Extra sweetness is sprinkled on top in the form of powdered sugar, the booth's "secret" weapon.

On this chilly autumn evening, they even brought a pumpkin version in celebration of the season.

After ordering and eating both, I asked the Moldovan partner which one had been more popular since they expanded. With a stern face, he told me that people could not resist the word "donut."

That word of course is part of their other creation, the Bashkir farm cheese donuts ($5 for four, above and below).

These are also sprinkled with sugar and further sweetened by a trail of condensed milk, but the insides are slightly savory from the cheese and quite enjoyable. Freshly deep-fried, the little warmth they provide your body was also nice on this cold night.

Queens International Night Market

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