Pita, Druze Style

Druze Food Stall
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Druze, Laffa (Pita)
Probably not kosher
Rambam, off Nachalat Binyamin
Tuesday (10:00 – 5:00)
Friday (10:00 – about an hour before Shabbat)

Every Tuesday and Friday, Nachalat Binyamin buzzes with activity as tables covered with various handmade crafts line the pedestrian walkway.  Tourists and natives alike flock to the bi-weekly artisan fair to buy household products, Shabbat goods, children’s toys, jewelry, and more.  Luckily, there is a Druze food stall right off Nachalat Binyamin (on Rambam) where visitors can satiate the appetite they’ve worked up while shopping.

Druze Food Stall

Druze food stall

The area around the stall is usually packed with people buying laffas or simply enjoying the musical performance that sometimes accompanies the food stand.  Druze women prepare the laffas, assembly-line style.  One woman bakes the laffa, stretching the raw dough out until it’s paper thin, flopping it onto a taboon (traditional cooking utensil that’s like an inverted wok), and using a flat, round pillow to flip it and bake it perfectly on both sides.  Meanwhile, another person fills the baked laffas and folds them up (they end up looking like a flat burrito) while another handles the money.  The whole operation proceeds like as a finely-wound clock ticks.

Making laffas

Laffa baking on a taboon

The laffa-building assembly line

We took our turn around the Druze time dial, ordering our food and watching a fresh-off-the-taboon laffa be slathered in labneh, sprinkled with salad, and peppered with za’atar.  We paid a modest sum of 15 NIS and excitedly bit into the laffa.  It was delicious!  The tangy, creamy labneh tasted amazing with the strong, earthy, and slightly salty flavor of the za’atar.  The za’atar contributed a depth of flavor to the thin but sturdy laffa.  The salad, meanwhile, gave the laffa a fresh feel and amazing crunch.  In hindsight, I wish we had ordered another one with chocolate spread for dessert…


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