EVENTS / FOOD / istanbulogy / July 21, 2015

The end of Ramadan— and pide

Ramadan, the holy month of Muslims, is a period rich in ceremonies and rituals shaped by the very cultures that embraced Islam. Ramadan drummers, pre-fast or breaking the fast rituals could well be the topic of many more posts to come. If you are to ask  my favorite Ramadan staple here in Turkey, I’d immediately reply with “pide” . This round flat bread topped with sesame seeds accompanies date, feta cheese, olives, butter and many other breakfast items at iftar, when Muslims break their fast that last from dawn till sunset. Which is very tricky considering the time zones. 





As a kid, you are sent to wait in the long queue to buy pide from your local bakery, which delivers hundreds of fragrant pide breads on black trays right before the iftar time. The bakery is hot as hell. And always a long queue outside. I vividly remember getting upset with people (or my neighbors) who would buy half a dozen of pides  and then it’d be sold out and I’d have to wait for another round. There was always this anxious feeling overshadowing the smell wafting through the oven: “Will there be enough for me?” “Will I get home on time?” If I happened to hear the call to break the fast when I was in the line, then feelings of guilt would invade: “I should have got in line earlier”. Mum usually waiting at the table, and even though I do not fast, it is a sheer pleasure to eat  the pide with cheese and butter (or chocolate spread though it is modern day substitute) all together.

When the Ramadan ends, the pide ends, too. Well, it is supposed to end though I see some patisseries offering it all year long.  Many of us who are addicted to pide are very  pleased that the Ramadan lasts only a month. I cannot imagine myself eating half a pide almost every day for longer than a month. So for the sake of my childhood memories, I photographed its baking process at our local bakery, Peleki, which takes pride in being listed in the top 10 bakeries that offer the best Ramadan pide every year. Drop by if you are in Teşvikiye or if you are not based in Turkey, here is the recipe: Turkish Ramadan pide recipe.  Bon appétit! Afiyet olsun!


P.S. For  a brief and excellent guide to Muslims’ holy month: Ramadan: a guide to the Islamic holy month.



Tags:  fasting memories Muslim heritage ramadan rituals slide Teşvikiye

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