whole wheat pita sandwich

One of the consequences of our personal carbohydrate evolution was the switch from white to whole wheat pita bread at the in-laws, under our persuasive influence naturally. But if the taste wasn't there, resistance would have blocked the move (see "no way artichoke soup"). These days most supermarkets are carrying pita breads, and some whole wheat versions, but the mass supply is not up to the same standards as the one directed at the ethnic market where the demand for quality as a staple in their diet is high.

For years we have relied on the South Philly Bitar family for pita bread baked in NYC and shipped down I-95 to their store, with delivery provided by ani's dad barkev, given our inability to get ourselves to that location ourselves. In 2007 an Armenian friend (also "Anjarian") told us about a new Lebanese bakery near the region's biggest multiplex (24 screens) just off a commuting nightmare highway directed out to the local nuclear power plant that ani fortunately used to anticommute to work on (watching the traffic problems on the oppositely directed lanes). She said their pita bread was on the money. We found their website and address and phone number but somehow never got around to the 20 minute drive over at the right time of day (evening) to check them out.

Finally we got serious but MapQuest did not seem to find the address, nor did the cheap GPS navigator we finally succumbed to contemporaneously. The email link for their website contact address failed due to bad HTML syntax, and the email to the poorly coded email address bounced. We called and left voicemail. They called us back and helped us get a better idea of their location in a humongous complex of large buildings abandoned by some failed industry, populated by inside go-cart tracks and various gyms and small businesses. We finally find the right moment one afternoon and discover what appears to be an abandoned storefront business with their sign. No sign of activity or life. We call again. They call us back, yes we are here. We decided to get up early one Saturday morning (they said they work 4pm to 9am) and investigate. Again no sign of life. We call again. They return our call the next afternoon. They had quit a few hours early Saturday (the end of their 6 day work week). We go over in the dark, still suspicious, and this time we are let in and led down a long hallway to the bakery where we meet Carlos and Malak and two of their sons with quite a few helpers making all kinds of stuff. Malak offered us some fresh warm pita, we chatted a bit and bought some pita and markouk (incredibly thin flat bread) to try and thanked them for their hospitality. What an impressive operation, and what dedication to work 6 nights a week such long hours. And the product quality? Excellent. We look forward to a long customer relationship.

bob began using the medium sized pita (a size not found in supermarkets) as a replacement for ani's daily small pita sized imported mortadella and sharp provolone (both very thinly sliced) sandwich, a pita which amazingly is so thin that after opening it up and inserting the contents, it would still fold in half twice to fit comfortably into a small plastic sandwich zip-loc bag. bob likes more substance in his sandwiches, so he tried his first medium pita sandwich with tomatoes, cucumber, garlicky roasted red peppers, avocado, and some leftover tzatziki sauce (bob loves extra white sauce on his gyros!). Leaving the pita unopened and simply folding it over around the colorful collection of food items.

ingredients

Find a good bakery supplier with authentic Middle Eastern roots. Buy the product.

instructions

  1. Support family businesses where possible.

notes

  1. Traditional Bakery Inc. by the Haddad family. Who have a long history with pita beginning in Lebanon, and spreading to Europe, then Canada, and finally with the growing demand south of that border, landing an outpost in the western Philly burbs, coincidentally the bull's eye target for IKEA USA when it first opened its US experiment, lucky for us. They also make a wide variety of other bakery products.
  2. Sadly our baker family had a bad experience with the scummy landlords of the abandoned industrial site where they were located, and chose to move to New Jersey to a much better business situation after we had only known them a year or so. We won't forget them.
  3. Illustration available.
wwpitasndsch.htm: 24-dec-2008 [what, ME cook? 1984 dr bob enterprises]