Recently, we found ourselves starving during a tedious day of used-car shopping. Unwilling to make such a big decision on an empty stomach, we were pleased to find ourselves within walking distance of Droubi's Bakery and Deli on Hillcroft in Sharpstown.
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After devouring a plate of Middle Eastern goodies including roasted meat skewers, lemony hummus, crisp pickles and fluffy pita, we went to the counter to pay. While counting out our cash, we saw a huge stack of fluffy breads that looked like oversize bagels sprinkled with sesame seeds. Intrigued, we asked the wizened counter clerk what these doughy creations were called. "Cock," she said. We wish we could say an adolescent giggle didn't bubble out, but we cannot. We later Googled it and discovered the bread was called ka'ak.
Fair warning: The remainder of this conversation, while true, might offend the mature among us.
"What do you with ka'ak?" we asked innocently. "I like to make my ka'ak into a sandwich," the cashier responded. "It's great with some ham and cheese. We go through a lot of ka'ak in my family." Unable to resist the multiple levels of fun that would come with such a purchase, we bought the bag of four ka'aks. Turns she was right. A ka'ak sandwich is delightful indeed.
Ka'ak is a typical Middle Eastern baked bread ring that is topped with sesame seeds and often sold by street vendors and eaten with za'atar for breakfast. It has a rich and distinct flavor, perhaps from the use of fermented chickpeas as a leavening agent. It can also be served with more hummus or falafel. We found it very tasty with cream cheese and thinly sliced cucumber for a British-inspired snack.