A visit to Fujairah’s Talal bakery is a reminder of how basic bread is—the making, the buying and the eating.
In what must be one of the oldest bakeries in the emirate of Fujairah, the Talal consists of only two rooms:
A small kitchen (this is too grandiose a title) at the rear where the dough is mixed, cut into pieces and rolled flat before being sent through the hole in the wall.
An equally small platform on which the bread maker sits to moisten the dough, stretch it over a mould, press it on the walls of the tandoori oven and retrieve it with a couple of tongs and a flick of the wrist 90 seconds later.
In the Talal there’s only enough room for a couple of customers but the front window is open for ventilation and sales.
Perhaps the only significant change to the process in the last three decades is the plastic bags nailed to the wall and taken down by the baker, the customer or some willing helper.
The bread maker is Afghani so the bread might be an Afghani recipe. Customers of many nationalities buy their bread at the Talal.
In contrast to the great range of bread available from Fujairah’s hypermarkets, the Talal sells only two types of products—small and large.
The small, round bread, which is the size of a dinner plate, sells for 50 fils and the large long bread costs one dirham.
The Talal bread is basic, common and everyday but when it emerges piping hot and with its bubbled texture it stirs the senses as only the aroma of freshly baked bread can.
The Talal is a narrow shop on Al Salam Road in ‘Old Fujairah’. It is on the right coming from Faseel and is three doors along from the Al Kouse Restaurant.
Not sure when the Talal opens each morning but it shuts its doors at 3pm.
Talal is a man’s name and an Arabic word that can mean ‘nice’, ‘admirable’, ‘pure’ or ‘clean’—all the basic qualities one looks for in a bakery.
Take a Look
Some photos of the Talal bakery are posted in this photo album.
This article is also posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.
Image: “The Talal sells only two types of products—small and large.”