Thursday, March 08, 2007

Perspective: Traditional mud oven makes a comeback in Iraq

A woman prepares dough for baking in a tanoor, a traditional mud oven

BAGHDAD, Iraq - In the topsy-turvy world of Iraq, Ali Mohammed Jafar offers solid evidence that the country is slipping backward: His business is booming.

Jafar, 26, makes tanoors, Iraq's traditional mud oven, and when he followed his father into the craft, he knew the trade was dying. After all, how many more years would Iraqis continue to bake khubuz, the national bread, in a clay vessel heated by glowing wood coals when steel ovens and propane fuel were so much cleaner and more efficient?

Read the rest at the Lexinton Herald-Leader