Any way you slice it, pizza comes in all shapes and sizes. Pizza’s versatility isn’t harnessed by ingredients alone — it’s also a visual phenomenon. When we think about pizza, our minds shift to traditional triangle, rectangle or square sizes. But, what about a boat? There’s a Turkish delight making waves across America, and it’s called pide.
What is Pide?
Pide (pronounced pee-day) is an oval- or boat-shaped salted flatbread filled with ingredients like chicken, beef, herbs or vegetables — but as far as toppings go, the sky’s the limit. Pide is characterized by a generously buttered up, chewy, crunchy dough base that offers varying edges — from narrow to folded over, covering the toppings.
Commercial pide is traditionally cooked in brick or stone ovens, but it also can be made in more traditional ovens with the right flatbread pan. But, is it pizza? It depends on who you ask. Not Quite Nigella calls pide Turkish pizza. Southwest Magazine’s Spotlight on pide says that it’s not pizza, due to the fact there is no marinara or pepperoni involved, instead it’s filled with tender beef, dollops of kajmak and splashes of ajvar. The Columbian’s vote is somewhere in between: Somewhat of a flatbread or cousin of what we Americans know as pizza. However, the relationship between pizza and pide is the reason the latter is becoming more popular in the United States, the site notes.
How is Pide Made?
Cagla Onal, chef at Turkish market Green Almond Pantry in Washington, told The Columbia that the pide dough making process is similar to pizza dough. “It’s a simple mix of yeast, water and salt that proofs overnight — but it’s baked differently.” It sometimes can fire in a wood oven, but the char isn’t necessary. Toppings vary, from Turkish-spiced meats to cheeses like mozzarella or Pinar, a Turkish import. Runny eggs can be added as toppings; but the one key difference is butter, and lots of it. There is no sauce in pide, so Onal says to use “yellow butter, real butter” to tie the tastes together.
Where Can We Find Pide?
Now that we’re hooked, it’s time to go in search of this Mediterranean deliciousness. Southwest flew around the country and found some good spots. We start at Philadelphia’s Stina Pizzeria, where the merguez pide is spiced with North African lamb sausage, mozzarella and tabbouleh, an herb salad traditionally mixed with parsley, olive oil, tomatoes, mint and lemon juice. Head to Seattle’s Cafe Turko, where the pide’s ingredients include garlic yogurt sauce, lamb, bell peppers and olives. In Washington D.C., the chicken pide at Tempo includes green peppers, onions, tomatoes, garlic and kasseri cheese.
All aboard the latest pide trend? The LloydPans innovation team offers five flatbread pans styles to fit your pide recipe and ovens. Visit LloydPans in Las Vegas on March 31 for the annual PizzaExpo show. Contact us at Sales@lloydpans.com to schedule an appointment with one of our food solutions experts.