Dancing flames add a fun and festive air to enjoying a nice dinner out. Open flamed ovens are nostalgic, for sure. But did you know open flame ovens actually make food cook better and taste better too?
Take manakeesh pizza, for instance. Manakeesh pizza is a traditional Lebanese pastry-like favorite on any manakeesh menu that gets its unique texture and taste from an open flame oven. Cooking manakeesh pizza in any other type of oven could never match the magic the open flame brings to life.
Many other dishes are perfectly cooked with the use of an open flame oven as well, like Lebanese food Toronto pastries and pies. Meat, bread, fish, and are also among the myriad of foods that can be cooked on an open flame oven. Ethnic bakeries and restaurants are known to use open flame ovens to achieve the special taste this type of cooking brings.
What is it that makes food cooked in open flame ovens taste so good? Some believe it’s the fact that open flames are more natural than electric or gas ovens are. The informal approach is said to add an unexpected touch to the food that no traditional over can create. After all, open flames date back to the caveman.
Another factor that explains why open flame ovens are better is the science behind it. The fire starts out at an extremely high temperature. Unlike traditional modern ovens, an open flame oven varies in temperature as its sparks haphazardly and produces a perfectly imperfect effect of the food. The mass of the oven that is known as “thermal battery” that slowly releases the heat.
Open flame ovens originated in ancient Greece. Through the years, they have taken on many different dimensions are can now be found in all shapes and sizes and are made from all different materials like adobe, cast iron, or cob. One thing they all have in common is that they contain a dome, a floor (also called a hearth), and an entry opening.
Some open flame ovens are considered to be “white”, while others are classified as “black” ovens. Black ovens use wood for their heat source and the food is cooked in the chamber where the wood is burned. White ovens, on the other hand, use heat transfer that comes from a separate chamber and also flue-gas path. The while ovens don’t collect ash like the black ones do.
Not all open flame ovens are created the same. Lebanese ovens and those from other countries that emphasis their use are known to be superior to ovens from countries that know very little about them and rarely use them. Authentic restaurants tend to use authentic open flame ovens that are imported from countries that use them frequently and specialize in making elite models.
If you would like to experience the goodness of authentic open flame dishes, you’ll find them served fresh at the best Lebanese bakery in Toronto, Al’ Deewan Bakery.