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A Brief History of the Turkish Ramadan Pita


The Pita of Ramadan, the most sacred state of the dough. It visits tables only in the holy Ramadan and that’s why it is always treated with great respect and everybody wants a piece of it. The growing distance between home and the bakery due to the drowsiness of fasting, is overcome at one stretch by the small and fast legs of the smallest one in the house. With the same responsibility as the messenger carrying the Sultan’s firman, he comes in front of the bakery by overcoming each and every obstacle. There is also this patience test to be succeeded in with a bunch of people waiting in the long line.

The patience is the difficult one. That’s why the human conceit can only be tamed by hunger and patience, in other words with fasting, the combination of these two. The last stage of the patience stage is the waiting at the line in front of the bakery. In the last minutes remaining for breaking of the fast the time also gets long as does the line of people in front of the bakery. Not only the smallest one of the house but you also encounter with women, men, many people of all age on the line in front of the bakery. It’s a special month, a special bread and of course its master has to be special too.

The pita of Ramadan

In Ottoman era, the dough-kneaders who were well aware of this holiness never entered in the bakery without ritual ablution and even they would perform the ritual ablution of the whole body at the nearest public bath. Maybe the taste of the pita also has something to do with this good manner and maybe they are round for everybody to break it easily apart from one side. The same question comes on everybody’s mind at the end of Ramadan month: Why the pita is sold only during the Ramadan? Because the pita of Ramadan is delicate. It’s not resistant as the loaf, it doesn’t like waiting. You have to consume it as it gets out of the bakery.

There’s only one moment when everybody in Turkey and in the Islamic geography gathers at the table at the same time: the Ramadan. Pitas are consumed without any delay on Ramadan tables. Someone always waits for them at the table or at the bakery line. The smallest one of the house returns back slowly from the distance between home and the bakery that before he covered quickly with a sense of a victory and the joy of knowing that soon, he is going to taste the crunchy dough from its sides. Then the messenger delivers the package to the mother with the proud of accomplishing a sacred mission and takes his place amongst the impatient people waiting at the breaking of the fast table.

The call to the prayer rejuvenates the table just like the trumpet of Raphael. Now, a peaceful smile takes the place of the anxious wait on faces. And pita prepares itself for new tables at the expert hands of dough-kneaders until the new heroes, who would cover the same distance again the next day, reach it. Meanwhile, as we say this pita is often eaten during Ramadan month. However is eaten during the rest of the year as well. And particular loaf is thought of as Turkish bread, despite there being dozens of different types baked there in the United Kingdom.


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