Sunday, February 27, 2005

Baghdadi Tortilla
After my Spinning class every Sunday morning, I spoil myself with some posh sandwiches for my lunch from the CafeNeto coffee shop near the underground car park. Today I noticed they had nicely wrapped tortillas. I’d never had a tortilla before that I could remember, so I thought I’d try that. There were different kinds and I opted for the Baghdadi Tortilla, which looked good and was the least expensive.

Well, it was absolutely scrumptious, but I was amused that they’d called it a tortilla. This was none other than an Iraqi pita (also called a Laffa). It was a yuppie, gourmet, snobby, Ashkenazi version of an Iraqi pita, but an Iraqi pita nevertheless.

Ah, but would I have bought it if the snazzy little wrapping had had Iraqi Pita written on it, rather than the more exotic Baghdadi Tortilla? I think not. An Iraqi pita is popular, down-to-earth street food, not something for which you pay a lot of money in a snooty coffee place that doesn’t even serve an ordinary ‘Ness’ (that’s instant coffee, short for Nestle, although the cheapish Elite powdered instant coffee in a can is still unbelievably popular here).

You should have seen the pitiful looks they gave a young man who came in asking for a ‘Ness’ at this place, while I was there last week. Poor guy, he was completely mystified. Even more so when he discovered that they didn’t serve ‘Botz’ either. (‘Botz’ - literally ‘mud’ - is Turkish coffee that hasn’t been boiled in a finjan but just mixed with boiling water, sugar added for the froth, and then allowed to settle).

(Cross-posted on Israelity)