Burns my Bacon: Pita vs. Pocket Thin

I’m the last person to get upset over something small and menial. No, really… So when I saw someone at work with a bag of pitas that said “flatbread pocket thins” on it, of course I started an argument: “You know those are just pitas, right?” Discussion ensued yesterday for about 5 minutes or so about the difference between a pita and pocket bread. Then today, of course, it was brought up again and further, louder, arguments occured.

Why does this burn my bacon? Because some quacks in a marketing department decided to call PITAS flatbread so that people will believe there is a difference. What is a pita? Simple. Bread with a pocket in it. At least I thought it was. Until our friends at Arnold’s decided that they couldn’t trademark the word Pita and instead called a PITA an f’ing flatbread that happens to have a pocket in it. Oh wait—it is pita-“style” bread. Which makes it…? A DAMN pita!

Yes, yelling did occur during this second discussion. About a pita. Unfortunately, some are misled by the spin doctors at Arnold’s painting pitas as “artisan pocket breads.” Some sad consumers believe they are getting something that is not a pita because it tastes better. Maybe it does taste better—but maybe that’s because it’s just a better pita! Don’t let the man pick your bread. Do you. YOLO.

Now…what do you think? I was promised responses from the office. Don’t disappoint.

America’s Best New Sandwiches, Part 2

Last month ES brought you our list of America’s top 10 new sandwiches. But blogga always said that reader knows best.

Many of you commented on our original story to tell us which of your favorite innovative sandwich should have been included. We chose the ten tastiest suggestions and now present an encore list: America’s Top 10 New Sandwiches, as selected by Endless Simmer readers.

10. Steak Poutine Pita — U Needa Pita St. Catharine’s, Ontario

What could be better than poutine, Montreal’s signature street food? How about throwing that poutine — cheese curds, fries and gravy included — on a pita, so you can actually eat it while walking down the street? Add some steak and you’ve got yourself one helluva sandwich. And yes, for the sake of U Needa Pita, we’re including Canada as part of America this one time only.

9. Westside Monte Cristo — Melt Bar and Grilled — Cleveland

We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again: there’s no food so good that it can’t be made better by a trip to the deep fryer. Kudos to Melt for being brave enough to test this theory out on the monte cristo breakfast sandwich — honey ham, smoked turkey, Swiss and American cheese — all battered in beer and deep fried.

8. Chacarero — La Sombra — Austin

We’re officially placing money on Chile’s signature sandwich — the chacarero — to become the next bahn mi, and La Sombra‘s version is the most sumptuous one we’ve seen yet. Shiner Bock marinated sliced hangar steak topped with green beans, avocado, tomatoes, pickled cucumbers and spicy mayo, all on a thin, toasty bolillo.

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Peaches ‘N’ Pita


As I mentioned earlier in the week, the veggie gf and I are spending the next month or so in San Francisco, while she completes a medical rotation here and I — well, eat. We found a nice little one-bedroom sublet on craigslist that was not a scam at all (phew) and have been spending most of our free time so far wandering the streets casually in search of grub.

Sunday morning, our first full day here, we strolled down the hill (goddamn, they are not kidding around about these hills) and stumbled into the Fort Mason farmers’ market, where the free samples alone were basically a full breakfast. There were about 12 varieties of fresh peaches, plums and nectarines cut up for people to try, and each of them was about 100 times better than anything I’ve tasted on the East Coast so far this year. Needless to say, we left with several different kinds of peaches to take home.

That night, I picked up some coffee before heading home (goddamn, these people are not kidding around about their coffee), and while at the store, grabbed some pita for breakfast in the morning — I like to toast it up and melt a little butter and maybe some herbs on it — a simple but satisfying breakfast.

So while our place is nice, it turns out the girl we are renting from is, shall we say, significantly less obsessed with cooking than I am. She has no toaster. No coffee maker. No microwave. No spices past salt and pepper. It turned out even my simple breakfast of toasted pita was too fancy for this bare kitchen. I had my single-brew coffee maker on hand for emergencies, but clearly, I had to improvise.

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She’s Choppin’ Broccoli, She’s Choppin’ Broccola


80P and I were walking home together from our respective offices and we were discussing the lack of dinner options and I declared that this has been my worst year of cooking on record. And on record, well, my record, that is, only counts since I’ve started cooking, so if you are to count all of my years on record, not just cooking years, than I’m not doing terribly, as I did fry cottage cheese. But in years that I have made it a priority in my life to find joy in the kitchen, this year, not so much is happening in that 10 foot by 5 foot space.

Anyway, don’t get all excited that this will be some glorious post about a new recipe. This actually proves my point. I now make sandwiches. Or simple pasta dishes. But with farmers market season starting, I have a feeling I can turn 2010 into to a year that will not tarnish my cooking record. Okay, enough records. Well, except for the record that my friend Vi always plays when I come over. Total crush on Band of Horses.

Back to the cottage cheese for a second. In January 80 and I were in Florida and I re/discovered two items that have found their place in my fridge many times this year.  One was cottage cheese (which I’d never had and decided it would be a good idea to make a sandwich out of it. See, there it is, another sandwich. A freaking cottage cheese sandwich.)

2010’s other popular item is smoked whitefish. Although I try not to eat that many animals, I can’t get over this salty, creamy, pungent, addicting addition to my life. (Can you use the phrase addicting addition? It’s overkill, huh?)

I usually eat the mashed fish on a bagel or dark bread toast, either solo or with raw onion. And once, out of obvious limited options, I had spread smoked whitefish on matzoh. This week I tried to switch it up and added in more veggies. And can I tell you, I am really digging raw broccoli these days.

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God Damn I Need that Karma

Parsnip Ricotta Spread 1 -- edited (500 x 332)

I was wearing a light gray cardigan that reached to mid-thigh. It had two pockets, like most cardigans. These pockets were shallow. I placed my iPhone in one of the pockets. It fell out of my pocket and into the toilet.

I was at the farmers market on Sunday, about to buy an Herbs de Provence cheese for my brother’s birthday (Herbs de Provence is our inside joke), and when I looked in my wallet I realized that my debit card was missing.

I was in one of those beer, wine corner grocery stores and was paying for whole wheat pocketless pitas.
Clerk: That’s $3.99
Me: <Handed the clerk a $5 bill>
Clerk: <Handed me $2.01>
Me:<Hmm, I know I’m not quick at subtracting, but why am I getting 2 dollars back? Did I miss hear him. I’ll just put it in my wallet. Wait, you know what, this isn’t right.>
What’d you say the price was?
Clerk: OH! How much did I give you back? It’s $3.99.
: <Gave him a dollar back, smiled and left.>

God Damn I Need that Karma. Fuck. I fucking drowned my very best friend and then I lost my only source of money. I didn’t need that dollar. I need some fucking luck.

And before I get to parsnips (again), if anyone knows how to resurrect a water damaged iPhone or figure out how not to pay $450 for a new one – please let me know! gansie@endlessssimmer.com

Let’s get back to that whole wheat pocketless pita.

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