Winter is the season of naranj, these small bitter oranges that used to grow in most traditional houses in Damascus and Aleppo, Syria’s competing cities on everything culinary.
Few topics evoke as much passion as food. New Lines' Kareem Shaheen is joined by Suna Çağaptay and Riada Asimovic Akyol to talk about how our identities are connected to what we eat, why Kareem is so passionate about authentic hummus and why recipes have become such a political battleground.
Picking za’atar, ‘akkoub and miramiyyeh (sage) became a criminal offense punishable by fines and up to three years imprisonment, beginning with za’atar, in 1977, when the Israeli Nature Protection Agency decided it should become a protected species.
Despite what culinary chauvinists claim, few cuisines have developed in isolation. The history of foodstuffs and food words is a history full of migration, adoption and constant civilizational mashups.
As a kid who grew up in a mixed Alevi and Sunni neighborhood in Malatya, I listened to all the stories related to the meaning of the ashure pudding. Before then, I just assumed that the pudding was an Alevi-specific dessert.
Among all the foods in Istanbul’s giant foodscape, perhaps the one with the most complicated and long history and provenance is boza.
Today, it is hard to fathom any cuisine we consume in America without eggplants (from Indian and Chinese to Italian and Arab). But eggplant was not always popular, until Italian and Arab immigrants brought it, along with chickpeas and peppers.