In virtually every culture around the world, there’s some kind of risen dough, rolled out into disks, topped with a savory something and then baked.
It’s food at its most elemental, isn’t it? Just the basics of wheat and meat, quick to prepare, quick to bake and satisfying to eat.
All of us know pizza, America’s favorite flatbread. Whether you like it simply topped or loaded with everything, pizza is a reliable crowd-pleaser however it’s served. The average American eats 23 pounds of pizza per year, according to some pizza demographics researchers, and 93% of Americans will eat pizza at least once in the next 30 days.
There are lots of other savory flatbreads topped with something delicious around the world, though.
That brings me to lahmacun, a Middle Eastern flatbread topped with a highly seasoned mix of ground lamb or beef. It’s a quintessential walking-around food, the kind of thing you pick up from a street vendor.
My Armenian friends call it “lahmajun” and say it’s an Armenian original. My Turkish friends say no, it’s their creation. I dislike getting into the middle of that fray, preferring instead to simply enjoy indisputably good food.
Here in my Southern Arizona home, I sometimes use the big burrito-sized flour tortillas instead of a yeasted dough to build my lahmacun. You can do that, too, or you can stick to the more authentic base of a simple risen bread dough. Because I’m a lazy cook and frequently don’t think about dinner until I’m already past ravenous, I make no apologies for buying ready-made pizza dough to use as its base.