Pita

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Pita
Nablus souq pita 118 - Aug 2011.jpg
Place of originMiddle East, Mediterranean, Balkans
Main ingredient(s)Flour and water
Food energy (per serving)1000 kcal (4187 kJ)
 
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Pita
Nablus souq pita 118 - Aug 2011.jpg
Place of originMiddle East, Mediterranean, Balkans
Main ingredient(s)Flour and water
Food energy (per serving)1000 kcal (4187 kJ)

Pita or pitta (/ˈpitə/, /ˈptə/ or /ˈpɪtə/)[1] (from Greek: πίτα) is a slightly leavened wheat bread, flat, either round or oval, and variable in size. Flatbread in general, whether leavened or not, is among the most ancient of bread.

It is used in many Mediterranean, Balkan and Middle Eastern cuisines. It is prevalent in Greece, Cyprus, the Balkans, North Africa, the Levant, Iran, Armenia, Turkey, and parts of the Indian subcontinent.

Origin[edit]

Pita is a loanword from Greek, pita (πίτα), probably derived from the Ancient Greek pēktos (πηκτός), meaning "solid" or "clotted".[2] In the Arabic world, pita is a foreign word, all breads are called khubz (ordinary bread), and specifically this bread is known as khubz arabi (Arabic bread). The tenth-century Arab cookery book, Kitab al-Tabikh by ibn Sayyar al-Warraq, includes six recipes for khubz, all baked in a tannur oven.[3]

Culinary use[edit]

Pita is used to scoop sauces or dips such as hummus and taramosalata, and to wrap kebabs, gyros or falafel in the manner of sandwiches. Most pita are baked at high temperatures (450 °F or 232 °C), causing the flattened rounds of dough to puff up dramatically. When removed from the oven, the layers of baked dough remain separated inside the deflated pita, which allows the bread to be opened into pockets, creating a space for use in various dishes.

Customs[edit]

In Greece, pita is a component of pita-souvlaki. These types of sandwiches involve the wrapping of souvlaki or gyros with tzatziki, tomatoes, onions, french fries, and condiments into a pita bread. Pita has a soft, chewy texture and is pocketless.[clarification needed]

Also, several pitas are found all over Greece (as appetizers, snacks or desserts), such as Kolokythopita, Mizithropita (Crete), Melintzanopita, Tsouknidopita, Kremydopita, Kreatopita (meat pie), Galatopita, Marathopita, Tyropita, Spanakopita, Malathropita (Chios), Ladopita.

Turkish pita recipes include the following: Plain pita is used for serving some kebabs on it such as Döner kebap, İskender kebap, Şiş kebap, Adana kebabı, Urfa Kebabı, Yoğurtlu kebap (Kebab with yogurt), and Tokat kebabı and making some sandwiches. Also made in Turkey are the pizza-like foods called lahmacun. They are made with round-shaped pieces of thin Arabian pita dough topped with finely chopped meat and herbs before baking until crispy.

In Turkey, local pita is called pide, which also refers to another pizza-like food made of pide dough topped with different ingredients. Regional variations in the shape, baking technique, and topped materials create distinctive styles for each region. Such pides may include pastırma, sucuk, chicken, chopped or ground beef, kavurma (meat, generally mutton or beef, fried with suet and salt and kept for later use), cheese, potatoes, mushrooms and many other ingredients.

In Palestinian, Lebanese, Iraqi, Israeli, Egyptian and Syrian cuisine, almost every savory dish can be eaten in or on a pita, from falafel, lamb or chicken shawarma, kebab, omelettes such as shakshouka (eggs and tomatoes), hummus and other mezes.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Collins English Dictionary". 
  2. ^ Babiniotis, Georgios (2005). Λεξικό της Νέας Ελληνικής Γλώσσας (Lexicon of New Greek). Κέντρο Λεξικολογίας. p. 1412. ISBN 960-86190-1-7. 
  3. ^ Nawal Nasrallah, Annals of the Caliphs' Kitchens: Ibn Sayyar al-Warraq's Tenth Century Baghdadi Cookbook, Brill: Leiden, the Netherlands, 2007. pp. 118–126.