Roll up, roll up! We all know that flat food makes the world go round, and Turkish pide is the latest 2D meal to make a fuss over
Another month, another new way to transport your food from hand to mouth without getting it all down your jumper.
We’ve had a healthy dose of dosa, we’ve gone wacko for soft tacos, and now Turkish pide is set to take the spotlight as the trendiest flat-and-wrap food on the block. Here’s everything you need to know.
How do I say it?
It’s pronounced pi-DEH, a bit like "pizza" if you had a cold – not "pied", as in the past tense of the verb "to pie". Or "peed". Definitely not peed.
What is it?
"Turkish pizza" is the simple answer, though you could just as easily call pizza "Italian pide. The crisp, puffy flatbread is traditionally baked in a hot brick oven, and topped with a limitless array of cheese, meat and vegetable combos.
Yeah, that sounds like pizza …
Ah, but it looks like a boat! The leavened dough is flattened out with fingertips to create its distinctive oval paddle-shape, and the edges rolled up to keep the toppings from falling overboard.
The toppings are different too. On a pide you’re most likely to find minced lamb or ground beef, egg, spinach, spices and goats' or sheep's cheese, though salami, peppers and mozzarella all sneak on from time to time.
So it's like a pizza, but:
- Has ground beef, egg, spinach and goats' cheese
There’s also a thinner, wider variety of pide called lahmacun, which you’ll find in plenty of UK kebab shops. Pounce on one if you do – they’re reliably more delicious, more delicate and less likely to leave you under a cloud of garlicky regret than a giant lamb doner.
What’s the backstory?
Pide has its roots in three different regions of Turkey – the Black Sea, the Aegean Sea and Middle Anatolia – and it’s a streetfood staple, often sold cheaply from a cart and eaten on the go.
Are all the world’s greatest foods sold from carts and eaten on the go?
How do I eat it?
Last year the food world was rocked by the news that we have all potentially been eating pizza wrong our whole lives, and a slice of pide is no less divisive. Some say the proper way is to load it with salad and roll it up, others slice it into strips and serve it with mezze.
Then of course, there those people who insist on using cutlery. The weirdos.
Where can I eat it?
Try this recipe for Turkish lamb pizza from Sarah at The Sugar Hit, or this mozzarella, cottage cheese and semi-hot pepper pide recipe from Ayşe Dilek of Food Project Istanbul.
What else do I need to know?
Pide is more than just semi-hot right now. In fact restaurateur Alan Yau, the wizard behind Wagamama, has chosen the dish as inspiration for his latest venture, Babaji – a pide salonu (which means Turkish pizza place, but you guessed that) in London’s theatreland.
Simplicity was the main appeal of pide, he explains: “It has only two to three components; it's carbohydrate-based; it's extremely easy to replicate. I think those three criteria are most important to my definition of World Food, a food product that has universal appeal.”
Alan, you had us at "carbohydrate-based".