Although Middle-Eastern cuisine has a plenty of dips and flatbreads, the Turkish Pide is the closest that they’ve gotten to a pizza.
Pairing flatbreads with dips like hummus and tabbouleh is quite common in the Middle-East, especially for breakfast. However, the Turkish Pide is a wholesome flatbread that comes packed with loads of toppings so that you don’t need an accompaniment. This traditional flatbread from Turkey is a breakfast staple in the country. Since it is filled with meat, vegetables and sauce, this hearty breakfast item is popular for lazy Sundays. Shaped like a boat with folded edges, the Turkish Pide can be open or closed, depending upon where it is being made. Although Pide is associated with Turkey, it has become very popular in other parts of the Middle-East too.
The word Pide is often linked to pita, another flatbread from the Middle-East. It is said that the name is derived from the latter, meaning bread in the Aramaic language of Syria. It is not surprising at all because the tradition of bread making has been known to the Middle-East for about 8,000 years now. From ancient Egypt, where doughs of bread were baked in ovens to the export of bread to Greece, the Egyptians and Greeks became acquainted with the idea of bread making. This was passed on to Rome from the Greeks and finally, spread to the rest of Europe.
Gradually, the Turkish Pide attained its present-day shape and form, where it came to be equated to pizza. However, the Pide can be of various kinds, depending on the region to which it belongs. While this flatbread is usually open, the northern parts of the Middle-East prefer to have a closed Pide. In the Mediterranean region, smaller pieces of this flatbread are served. The Turkish Pide usually comprises ground meat, vegetables like onions and tomatoes as well as cheese and pastrami. Since it is a breakfast special, fried eggs are often topped onto the Pide.
What makes the Pide distinct from pizza is the elongated form as well as the narrow and pointed edges of the boat-shaped bread. It is the thickness and the boat shape that lends the dough the strength to hold the toppings. Nonetheless, it is considered to be a close cousin of pizza from Turkish cuisine that is savoured for breakfast. It is also a comfort food for many in the region. Cooked in a wood-fired oven, Pide is a heavenly treat in the morning that is nothing short of indulgence.