|فتّة / Fatteh / Fetté|
|Type||Breakfast or Main|
|Place of origin||Ottoman Syria|
|Main ingredient(s)||Flatbread, yogurt, chickpeas, oil|
Fatteh (Arabic: فتّة meaning crushed or crumbs, also romanized as fette, fetté, fatta or fattah) is a Damascene dish that uses pieces of stale, toasted or fresh flatbread as a foundation upon which various ingredients are added on top for the bread to be mixed and crushed with. As flatbreads quickly tend to get stiff when exposed to air, it is indeed a way of using stale bread. Two words "شاميات" ("Shâmiyât" / "The Damascenes") and "فتّات" ("Fettât", the plural of "Fetté") refer to the entire class of Levantine dishes that use crumbled flatbreads in their preparation.
The fetté is known to be a very peculiar and ancient dish of the Egyptian and Southern Levant area, an area that comprises Damascus, Beirut, Jordan and the Palestinian Territories while being mostly unknown and unheard in the Northern Levant.
Fetté dishes include a wide variety of regional and local variations, some of which also have their own distinct names.
- Levant: The Levantine "Fetté", eaten in breakfasts as well as in the evenings, always starts with a stack of khubz bread, topped by strained yogurt, steamed chickpeas and olive oil that are crushed and mixed together. In the next step, a teaspoon of cumin is almost always poured into the mixture. After that, virtually anything can be added to the bowl. Some fettés are made of eggplants and julienned carrots topped with grilled chicken and pine kernels while some contain lamb shanks, different spices and yogurt. The fattoush is a salad made with toasted pieces of pita bread that technically also falls into the family of the "Shâmiyât".
- Palestine: "Fetté Gazzewié" from Gaza, is served as plain rice cooked in meat or chicken broth and then flavored with mild spices, particularly cinnamon. The rice is then laid over a thin markook bread which is in turn smothered in clarified butter and topped with various meats. Musakhan, considered to be the Palestinian national dish by many, is also a fetté dish indeed.
- Egypt: Egyptians also prepare and consume a dish called "fatta" as a feast meal. Considered a traditional Nubian dish, it is prepared on special occasions, such as to celebrate a woman's first pregnancy or for an Iftar during Ramadan. It is made with a garlic and vinegar flavored meat soup and crispy flatbread served in a bowl with rice and a sauce consisting of molokhia.
- Salamandra, 2004, p. 97
- Patai, 1998, p. 98.
- Académie Syrienne de la Gastronomie, Sept.2005, Aleppo
- Wright, 2003, p. 117.
- The Foods of Gaza Laila el-Haddad. This Week in Palestine. June 2006.
- Jennings, 1995, p. 90.
- Jennings, Anne M. (1995), The Nubians of West Aswan: Village Women in the Midst of Change, Lynne Rienner Publishers, ISBN 1-55587-592-0
- Patai, Raphael (1998), Arab Folktales from Palestine and Israel, Wayne State University Press, ISBN 0-8143-2710-9
- Wright, Clifford A. (2003), Little Foods of the Mediterranean: 500 Fabulous Recipes for Antipasti, Tapas, Harvard Common Press, ISBN 1-55832-227-2
- Salamandra, Christa Anne (2004), A new old Damascus: authenticity and distinction in urban Syria, Indiana University Press, ISBN 0-253-21722-9