Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Beware of Pide!!!!

Wow.  It’s hard to believe I’ve been back less than a week now.  Work this week is full on.

I miss Istanbul.  I miss Turkey.  I miss walking through the city.  I miss the countryside, the weather and, and… and my gosh the food, dare I say.

Much to my surprise someone came up to me at work today and said “Girl, you’ve lost a lot of weight.  What did you do?”.  My response: “I went to Turkey and ate everything in sight”.  I also walked through the city every day.  No need for a car.  This is the difference in Dubai unfortunately.  But back to the food…

The food in Turkey is amazing. There are no words to describe it because you have to taste it for yourself.  I am not kidding – lick your plate worthy and get seconds. Technically, you don’t even need a plate because the produce is so amazing who needs to cook it!  - But that is another blog post.

Despite all that amazing rawness, there is a huge danger that I must warn you about if you ever visit Turkey during Ramadan.  It is a force much more powerful than you or me – it is called Pide.  Do not even try to conquer it.  It is impossible.

Fresh from the oven!
Be afraid.  Be very afraid.  Pide shows up around sunset and it is irresistible.  Pide is fresh bread that is only served at Ramadan with the Iftar meal at sunset for those who are breaking their fast.  I have yet to see it make any appearances at Dubai iftars.

Years ago I ruled out most carbs.  I am not training for anything, so I do not need all that bread.  But give me a fresh pide from the oven – bread fast is over as we know it.

We did not indulge too much when in the city (because we were too busy eating other things!) but be sure… at my mother-in-law’s we ate it every day.  You either go to the bakery, or firin, and stand in line with everyone else and wait.  Or, in the case of Şarköy, everyone would pick one up for everyone else.  As a result of all that neighborhood hospitality we were never without and even ended up with three fresh, hot pides one night.  One whole one for each of us!  I still do not know how people that are fasting are able to stand in line and smell that amazing bread, then walk home with it hot in their hands.  Yes, it is only the strength that can come from a much higher power.

The local firin in Şarköy
And you don’t just cut it and eat it.  If you are hard core, and as in our case (and not fasting) you break out the butter immediately as soon as you get home.  Forget about waiting for dinner because you will not be able to.  I would bet money on it.  After eating some of the best bread you will ever have in your life - hot, butter melted just right - you can then enjoy some more with dinner.

If you do not finish it off for dinner, then you can heat it up in the toaster for breakfast. It is amazing with all those great cheeses and homemade jams! One of my foreign friends I met in Turkey used to make homemade pizzas out of it. The possibilities are endless.

Everyday we would try to cut back, but really it is impossible. It is the wrath of pide. Fear it, but enjoy it as it is only around one month out of the year.


derya said...

if you are in the united states, there is this amazing bakery that does the same thing 365 days a year, fresh...TASKIN BAKERY, in Paterson, NJ you can check their website....

Pam said...

Thanks Derya, I am living in Dubai, but if I ever visit Paterson, I will be sure to stop by there!!!