Origin of food, when we put meaning to a certain dish or concept, it breeds interest and intrigue. How did what we are putting in our mouths, get here? Once we know, we develop a certain appreciation. Not unlike the feeling after seeing someone struggle and then reap the reward.
The word Pide must not speak volumes to most of you, and that’s why we’re writing this. To show you the reward. To feed you history. To fuel you with appreciation.
Since 4000 BC we’ve been cooking our Pide on a flat, heated surface, with no need for additional borders or containers. Pide essentially means flat bread, derived from the Greek word “pita”. The Pide comes in many forms, but the one Babaji has graciously produced on the streets of London, is the Black Sea variant or rather, the Pide with toppings.
We’ve come a long way since accidentally creating bread by letting oats and water ferment in the sun. We’ve assembled meaning out of something supposedly so simple.
So the next question would be, why Alan Yau? Why did one of the greatest restauranteurs in the world birth the London trend of Pide? His repertoire screams Chinese restaurants, so why delve into Turkish?
“Babaji is Alan Yau’s response to the disappointment he felt upon trying pide, in London and Istanbul, and finding nothing special. “It seemed to me that nobody was taking particular pride in their pide“.
But what’s even more interesting, is the fact he realised the potential for something so seemingly simple. He saw that the Turkish Pide was able to cross the boundary between East and West.
“In terms of the simplicity of the product, it has only two to three components; it’s carbohydrate-based; it’s extremely easy to replicate. I think those three criteria are most important to my definition of ‘World Food,’ a food product that has universal appeal. Here is something very close to a Pizza, but which sits in the middle of a very niche, extremely ethnic menu, that most people won’t have heard of.”
So there you have it, a brief history of Pide.
It’s truly beautiful when you think about the evolution of dough and how we’ve utilised it in similar ways across the globe.
To celebrate Babaji, we’re giving away a free Pide with every order over £15, just for today. So hurry. It’s free delivery across London and we want you all to delve into this culturally rich cuisine. Enjoy.