Down on Deansgate there's a Turkish pizza revolution going on!
We’re here today to talk about Pide.
Firstly, let’s talk about what Pide is. To make this whole thing easier for you to read, it’s pronounced ‘pee-day’ not just ‘peeeeeed’. You’ve gotta give it that extra bit of flavour on the pronunciation, not just our usual Manc accent.
Back to the food. Essentially, Pide is pizza with Turkish pizzazz (pun intended). There’s plenty of varieties spread all over Turkey but generally, it’s a flat-bread base similar to pita or a pizza crust.
Although the actual origins aren’t known, most people agree that the dish originated in the Samsun area and started out as a humble sesame seed flatbread.
Traditionally, Pide is baked on special cookery rocks that withstand super-duper high temperatures to give it that perfect crunchy outer layer and fluffy inside dough.
They’re usually stuffed with plenty of fillings too. This is where the real difference to pizza comes in. Forget mozzarella, tomato and basil, no no no. Pide is all about bright colours, spices and fragrant lamb.
The edges of the dough are folded in to encapsulate the fillings and create the infamous oval or boat-shaped bread. Toppings often include meats such as lamb and chicken, cheeses and the odd cracked egg or two.
One thing you will find a lot of in any Pide is butter. In just about every step there’s an extra layer of butter slathered on, giving it a crispy texture and golden sheen.
Manchester’s very own answer to Turkish cuisine can be found just down the road on Deansgate. KAI serves up mezze dishes and a massive grill which serves up plenty of meat, including everybody’s favourite Tomahawk.
With authentic dishes on the menu such as Baba Ganoush, all with a contemporary twist. And of course, that includes a perfectly formed flower wall specially designed for a few pics.
On offer on the menu down at Kai is melted pepper pide with Zhoug Chilli (£9). Coated with the Mediterranean hot sauce and plenty of sliced red peppers this pide is sweet and cheesy. This pide is the perfect crowd pleaser and great addition to the table of Turkish mezze dishes.
Next up on the menu is Spinach and Cream Cheese Pide (£9). Perfectly tangy and simultaneously refreshing this Pide goes exceptionally well with chicken and fish.
And finally the Lamb and Cheese Pide (£10). Now I have to say lamb and cheese is not the kind of combo that naturally pops up in your head, but boy does it work. The spicey and herby minced lamb is mixed with wilted spinach and sweet nutmeg make this dish the perfect fragrant dish to the table.
But by my favourite pide on the menu, down at Kai is the Chicken and Cheese Pide (£10) brushed with plenty of garlic cheese. It’s like the three staple and most important ingredients in my diet all in one place and then wrapped in a delicious dough – does it get any better? No.
So, what do you think? Should pizza move aside as we make way for a new type of cheesy-doughy good stuff all the way from Turkey?
Why not get down and try it at KAI and see for yourself!
KAI Deansgate, 82-84 Deansgate, Manchester M3 2ER
0161 832 3431