One thing can be counted on over in the Arab neighborhood–the faces are always changing. The last time I went over there to stock up on bread, the former Emir’s supermarket had a new sign that said “Judy”. Judy? How Arabic is that? Yesterday “Judy” had an addition, “Hesh and Nesh”, a small counter for felafels and sandwiches. “Nesh”? [Could that be something like the Yiddish “nosh”?] As a guy with the most incredible blue eyes explained to me, “hesh, nesh” is an onomatopoeic name for the sound of fanning a charcoal fire for grilling meat, sort of like “swish”.
I was also given the secret for perfect defrosted hobez (pita bread–خبز) First you have to freeze the bread the minute you get home, not the next day. To revive the frozen bread, zap for forty seconds in the microwave then toast a few seconds over the stove’s burner on both sides. It works.
Bonus tip: to rejuvenate prepackaged hummos, put the hummos in a bowl, squeeze some lemon over it (the Jordanian word for lemon and lime is the same) and mix, then dribble a little olive oil over the top.