Thursday, February 01, 2007

Is there any difference between pita, Syrian, Lebanese, or unleavened bread?

Who's asking: Richard Bostwick, Hallowell, ME

I had never heard the names "Syrian bread" or "Lebanese bread" before moving to New England, but both describe pita bread. Although pita bread is flat, it's not unleavened; it's made with yeast. Yeast-induced puffing is what creates the distinctive pita "pocket."

Naan, the Indian version of flatbread, is also leavened. Naan is sweeter and lighter than pita bread, but the concepts are similar. Chapatis, Indian unleavened bread, are more like tortillas; they don't have pockets.

If you haven't already subscribed to The Mystery Bookstore's podcasts, now would be a good time to do so. In the next week they'll be posting an interview I did last week with Megan Abbott, Charlie Huston and Theresa Schwegel, and the one I did last night with Martha Grimes. Megan, Charlie and Theresa are always entertaining, but Martha Grimes is fantastic. Each podcast is 15-20 minutes long. To subscribe, just go to the bookstore's website and click one of the options in the upper right-hand corner of the front page.

7 comments:

Linda Brown said...

Ooh, Clair, you're a fan! Now that you've started on Martha, go back to the very beginning (Man with a Load of Mischief, I think) -- what a treat to have the whole series before you.

Just listening to Martha's end of the conversation with you was fun. And her event with the audience was like listening to a stand-up comic (only she was seated): she had a whole routine of author anecdotes.

AnswerGirl said...

I just finished THE OLD FOX DECEIV'D (more about this tomorrow), and will definitely be reading more. Martha had interesting things to say about her writing process (she makes it up as she goes, without an outline), and was downright shocking (and hilarious) on the subject of whether she'd date her fictional creations.

Anonymous said...

Growing up in Cleveland we always called it Lebanese bread. Cherry tomatoes and American cheese toasted in the toaster oven until crisp and bubbly was the best. -Kathleen

Linda Brown said...

I teased Martha several times about her "threesome" comment...

Couldn't make her blush, but I got her to chortle.

Linda

Anonymous said...

I am almost positive Syrian & Lebanese breads are the same, Give the Lebanese credit for the bread and the Syrians the credit for taking the bread and calling it their own.
Greek pita bread is thicker and has more of a "bread" taste, texture weight. Lebanese bread is much lighter with little bread like texture and is chewy good. I love Lebanese bread but dislike pita bread.

Anonymous said...

My Syrian grandmother made bread every saturday morning. She kneaded 25 pounds of Robin Hood flour by hand. The bread she made was large, 12-14 inches in diameter and 3/4 to an inch thick. Much different from pita

Shamey said...

What Anonymous (right above my post) described is real "Syrian bread". I know because I make it. Recipe is in Syrian cookbooks. "Syrian bread" is not "Pita bread"!