Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Bakery

We’ve passed our 3-month anniversary and are definitely in a bit of a routine now. One of our routines is making weekly trips to one of two local bakeries to buy 5 stacks of pita bread (about 20 pitas per stack), and then putting it all in the freezer at home. Most mornings, our breakfast involves taking out a pita or two per person, dipping them in olive oil, and then dipping them in za’atar, a popular Jordanian herb blend of oregano, sesame seeds, sumac, etc. All of us love it, except for Naomi! We often eat pita bread again at lunch, with peanut butter and jam. And if I make pita-pizzas, it’s possible to have had pita bread at all three meals!
The bakery is a wonderful place, filled with mouth-watering aromas. It’s difficult to pass by the trays of goodies (though many of them are unfamiliar to us) and it’s rare for the kids to not beg me to buy a cake or some doughnuts. The best part of the bakery is seeing the cooks at work. When we first went there, it was at the very end of Ramadan, and pancakes were a traditional food for that time of year. We saw a conveyor belt making hundreds of pancakes.
The next time we went, that was all gone, which surprised us since we didn’t know that pancakes were associated with Ramadan. But since then we’ve seen huge tortilla-type breads being formed by hand and then cooked briefly on an upside-down wok-looking device, similar to a gigantic crepe-maker. How amazing to see blobs of dough turn into larger and larger circles in the adept hands of a baker!
By far, the most popular item in the bakery is pita bread. I learned recently that the Jordanian government subsidizes pita, which is why I can buy a stack of them for just 0.25 JD (slightly more than a quarter). I love getting good-tasting, fresh bread for such rock-bottom prices! The kids do miss my homemade bread-machine bread, as that was our norm in Oxford. But I haven’t gotten around to making bread from scratch yet here. There are better uses of my time!

1 comment:

Anita said...

Are the pitas and other breads in Jordan made with white flour or whole wheat flour?