Friday, March 17, 2017

The Baker from Baghdad



'The Baker from Bagdhad'  is the name of a bakery chain  which includes some seven stores spread around Israel. The chain, founded in 2004 by the third generation to a family of bakers originally from Baghdad (Iraq),  is quite successful. People love these places which combine the old, traditional breads and pastries, with the more modern ones. 


products displayed on racks and counter

Last week, I entered one of the bakeries of the chain to get myself a cup of coffee and a cookie. It was almost noon. Inside, a light traffic of customers buying bread, rolls, pretzels, cakes, cookies.  Salads, sandwiches,and light drinks were also available.

There were only two small chairs and tables, outside the entrance, where one could sit and have a coffee. Not very comfortable arrangement, to say the least, but I left home without any breakfast and I had to have something.

breads on rack

tortes, for festive events, in the fridge, cookies on the table

cookies on racks

ready-made  cake roulades

The specialty of this chain is the 'sambusak' - an iraqi and middle-eastern  turnover pastry stuffed with various fillings (cheese and potatoes, among the favorites).
Doughnuts are also given much honor here, with a variety of fillings (chocolate, strawberries, vanilla, halva). 

Staring at the people buying all those goodies,  I concluded to myself that it was hard for anyone to resist entering the place. Besides the terrific smells of fresh, out-of-the oven stuff, and decent prices, I noticed a great variety of both:  baking supplies used (white flour, whole flour, with or without glutten, various filling ingredients) and finished products (sweet, salty, sugarless/ breads, cookies - and at the other end  - sophisticated and "decadent" desserts).

We're constantly told that sugar and salt are killers, flour is an enemy, jelly is yikes - but most people love these elements and will probably continue to love them  (presumably with the help of a little pill for diabetes, cholesterol, triglycerides and the like. As we all know, Nutrition and Health, go hand in hand, ). 

25 comments:

  1. Sounds scrumptious, such delicious delicacies. Always a treat in itself t discover new place, especially ones that can satisfy our sweet tooth!

    Poppy

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    1. Welcome to my little blog, Poppy!
      Last year, I visited your Crete, precisely Heraklion, and I liked the cretan delicacies as well.

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  2. Everything looks fresh and delicious, Duta!

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    1. Linda,

      Indeed, so. It's just too small for a 3 in 1 place, that is : bakery, shop, coffee corner.

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  3. Oh my, this bakery is just my kind of place. It looks so charming with lots of goodies that would suit most everybody. The turnover pastries with cheese and potatoes sound scrumptious. And I'd love to try one of the doughnuts. I hope you enjoyed your coffee and cookies. I think I would have gotten more. : )

    Have a pleasant Sunday, Duta.

    ~Sheri

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    1. Red Rose Alley,

      Actually, I had only one cookie (an apple cookie) with my coffee. I'm trying to watch my weight. Doughnuts are very popular all year round, but their glory is on Hannukah holyday which lasts a week usually during end of December.

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  4. My God, Duta! You made my day, dear... You know cakes, always put a large smile on my face and these ones are no exception.
    I can see myself very well exploring this bakery... I would be Alice in Wonderland... hahaha... Thank you very much for sharing.
    Happy Spring to you.

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    1. The Reader's Tales,

      Well, we all like cakes and bakeries. You look like one who could afford eating them without gaining weight.However, most of us gain weight just by looking at these delicacies.

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  5. You have shown us a wonderful world over a long period of time, Dura. And you're a talented traveller, with the gift of eloquence.
    Your description of this mouth-watering bakery is so evocative. As a young pre-school boy, way back in the Spring of 1939, I still have memories of going to Bloomfield's bakery in Handcroft road, Croydon, to get a "tin loaf" for my Mum. I was four years old.
    That wonderful aroma of newly baked bread is still a much loved and happy memory. You seldom come across such glorious aromas nowadays, sad to say.
    I also remember my Mum's distress and anger when l had to give only one penny change from the sixpence coin she had given me for a loaf one day, a few weeks later. The price had increased from threepence-three-farthings to fourpence!
    Fourpence in "old money" was less 2p in today's money. Today's price for the average loaf is circa 240 old pence (£1).
    Now see what you've done Dura. You have not only awakened my sense of smell but the pre-WW2 days too!👶

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    1. PhilipH,

      Thanks for your kind words.
      I've greatly enjoyed reading your childhood memories of your Mum, the bakery aromas, the loaf of bread, and the change from the sixpence coin. You're a terrific story-teller!

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  6. Excellent post and I love the pictures! I can almost smell the baked goods mixed with the scent of coffee! It's been ages since I had a doughnut, but I do love them. What a beautiful little shop, I especially love the wall in the back with the drawings of the baker putting dough into the ovens. I would love to visit that place and probably couldn't leave without sampling everything!

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    1. Alicia,

      Oh, the smells, the smells..Hard to resist them.
      As for the doughnuts, I understand the chain has a new and bigger shop in an adjacent town where they employ a 'doughnuts specialist' which does special coatings and fillings.

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  7. Woo hoo! This looks likes a great bakery, Duta! There used to be great bakeries around us, but no more, they've all closed shop. We were just talking about it the other day, Easter and all the traditional baked goods that used to be at the bakery. Grocery stores have ruined the bakeries here, and their products are not nearly as good as the old bakeries. I can't remember the last time I had a donut, too many Krispy Kremes in the grocery stores, etc. and you might as well just eat a cup of sugar, no taste to them. And I can't remember the last time I was in an actual bakery, maybe that's a good thing though, thinking of the calories. 😊 It looks like there's no shortage of good delicious items at your bakery. Lucky you!!!

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    1. Pam,

      Times change, and it's sometimes sad.I know well what you mean by grocery stores versus bakeries. Not the same taste and smells. The only "good" thing is we'll consume less calories by not buying the stuff.

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  8. I love going into bakeries. The smells alone draw me even when I'm not hungry. You described this one beautifully. Happy day, Duta.

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  9. Nikki(Sarah),

    Bakery products are addictive. Nowadays, we can minimize damage by choosing, sugarless, whole wheat flour breads and pastries ,but still - all the items add up to body weight, and not everyone has good genetics and metabolism.
    Happy day to you too!

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  10. Χαχααα, συμφωνώ απολύτως! Πως να μην φάμε τόσο όμορφα γλυκά; Κι ένα χάπι μετά!
    Πολλούς χαιρετισμούς!

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    1. Magda,

      Thanks for your comment (translated from Greek by Google).
      Well, it's wel-known that at a certain age sweets bring about all kinds of health issues and people sometimes need medication (a pill or two).

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  11. How wonderful! You reminded me that I used to live near a bakery, when I was a kid. Those smells are still so vivid!

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    1. In our younger days there used to be a bakery in every neighborhood, but nowadays things have changed in many ways. We were left mainly with "those smells".

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  12. I won't be giving up sweets anytime soon. But, I do try to eat them in moderation. That way I don't have to feel guilty. Your photos look delicious!

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    1. Moderation is indeed the key word. No need to give up all those goodies, just eat sensibly.
      Thanks Sharon for your remark on the photos.

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  13. Yes we love things in a bakery! I haven't heard of the Iraqi pastry though no surprise? The bakery is neat looking

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    1. The iraqi pastry mentioned in my post, the sambousak, is a triangle shaped pastry with a variety of fillings. For best results, a thin , flaky dough known as phyllo, is used.

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