The haves of Lebanon are uber chic, they could give stiff competition to the haves of anywhere else. And the haves and have-nots, each have the very chic street bread, Kaak to savor, as a communion if you will. At least when enjoying this wonderfully light bread, their worlds collide, come together, even if briefly, and for brief moments, savor the same thing - enjoy a similar ecstasy, and in humble settings. I wish for Lebanon, India and all parts of the world, where there is this shocking and stark divide, that perhaps the bites savored in the common places of merriment, can be bites that reduce that abhorrent gap between rich and poor. But alas, that is only my dream. And the power to change the world, the economies of countries, I do not have. I am a mere mortal.
There is certain fun and celebration that come with the indulgence of Kaak. You get to choose if you want it plain, filled or even hot, if you go to the bakery.
Charlie heading to the advertised and yet very cavernous and what seems hidden Kaak factory. This particular Kaak store is on the outskirts of Bechara ek Khoury road in Beirut. It was recommended by Mohammed, the wonderful man who drove us around. I am sure Maya (the Danny Meyer of Lebanon) certainly may have had her own favorite place - but gracious as she is, and also a fellow food adventurist, she had no qualms about trying out this spot. And I think she was happy we did.
headless baker - NOT! but busy in action, and my slow exposure caused his head to fade, but the bread, unbaked and baked, are in all their glory. The secret too good Kaak we were told is in the resting of the dough. Of course the fillings you have them with or without, make a difference too
Charlie with Maya Bekhazi Noun (the Danny Meyer or Drew Neiporent of Lebanon) owner of many restaurants and dining concepts in Lebanon and outside. Tartufo, one of her several establishments, serves wonderful Italian fare, not the American Italian that sadly has become the benchmark for many societies when thinking Italian cuisine. Here Charlie and she compare their purses... which one will win?
stuffed, shaped and stretched, the Kaak bakery had something for all tastes. One of the last tastes we enjoyed was the purse shaped Kaak stuffed with Zaatar, Olive oil and Jibneh.
For a recipe of Kaak, that I have not tested, but is online, visit the Phoenican Gourmet.