Hummus Elite
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Glatt Kosher Middle Eastern / Mediterranean Cuisine
Four Classic Ways to Eat Pita Bread

Made with leavened wheat bread, water, salt and baked as a round piece of bread containing a pocket, pita bread is a staple of many Balkan, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes. Pita bread gets its famous "pocket" when raw pita bread is baked and subjected to a steaming process that causes the dough to puff up in the middle of the bread. Eventually, it begins to flatten as it cools, leaving the famous pocket behind into which all kinds of foods are placed and eaten as a sandwich-type meal.

Historical records of Egyptians baking bread using barley and wheat exist in various excavations of scrolls and sculptures. Researchers believe that the ancient Egyptians may have accidentally discovered leavened bread when dough left in the sun or other warm place activated the yeast and cause the dough to rise or "puff". However, full credit may be due to the Bedouins who are thought to have baked the first pita bread for use as a consumable eating utensil.

During the 1970s, many immigrants from the Middle East arrived in the U.S., introducing Americans to their spicy cuisine as well as to pita bread. When health-minded individuals found that the bread was low in fat and sugar, the market for pita bread exploded. Yearly sales of pita bread are currently well over $100 million.

As a Scoop
Pita bread can be used as a scoop for dips and sauces like hummus or tahini sauce. Essentially, pita bread can substitute for any kind of eating utensils if none are available. Simply scoop thick soups, meats, vegetables or any other food into its pocket and eat.

As a Wrap
When pita bread is baked flat without allowing it form a pocket, it can be used as a wrap for gyros, falafel and kebabs. Greek pitogryos and pita-souvlakis are pita wraps made with chicken or pork strips, onions, tomatoes and various desired condiments.

Created using pita bread, Turkish kebabs such as yogšurtlu kebap, iskender kebap and sis kebab are popular lunch and dinner dishes served with salads and Turkish tea.

A Turkish food similar to pizza called lahmacun uses round, thin pieces of pita bread topped with a variety of spices, herbs, potatoes and chopped meat.

Stuffing the Pita
Pocketed pita bread can be stuffed with just about any kind of food, from meat to vegetables to thick stews. Traditional chicken shawarma pitas are a favorite of Middle Eastern residents and contain many delicious ingredients, such as hummus, garlic, onions, cucumbers, cilantro and tomatoes.

Falafel pitas are stuffed with tahini sauce, vegetables, tomatoes, parsley and falafel. Falafel is a traditional Israeli dish made with garbanzo or chickpeas, onions, garlic, cumin, flour and corianda that are shaped into small balls and fried in oil.

Crispy Pita Chips
As a healthy alternative to crackers or potato chips, toasted pita chips provide sturdy support for sauces, dips and melted cheeses. Cut into slightly larger than bite-sized triangles and brushed with cooking oil, pita bread chips are baked until brown, light and crispy. Incorporating cumin, garlic, coriander and black pepper into a pita bread recipe makes for spicy and flavorful pita chips as well.
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