Sour green plums the size of large marbles are in the local Middle East markets now, a seasonal favorite of the Iraqis. Eat them out of hand as a snack, sprinkling each bite with a little salt. The classic Iraqi way to cook them is to pair them with meat in a flavorful stew. And if you want to ask for them in Persian just say "Gojeh sabz!"
April's biggest bargain is fresh, green garlic
Studies have shown animals use flavour as a guide to the vitamins and minerals they require. If flavour serves a similar role for humans, then we may be imbuing junk foods such as potato chips and fizzy drinks with a false ‘sheen’ of nutrition by adding flavourings to them. In other words, the food industry may be turning our nutritional wisdom against us, making us eat food we would normally avoid and thus contributing to the obesity epidemic.
If you live in the near Middle East or the middle Middle East, or are just visiting - take this handy guide with you to find and taste what's in season for the month of March.
Mariah Gladstone’s childhood laid the perfect foundations for the work she does these days, breathing new life into Indigenous Peoples’ food traditions through her online cooking show Indigikitchen.
November in the Middle East offers a colorful spread of fruit and veg, including some heritage varieties.
Celebrity chef and foraging superstar René Redzepi told the New York Times on Monday that he is closing his Copenhagen restaurant Noma at the end of 2016 and resurrecting it in 2017 with a new menu and a new site in an urban farm setting. This man on a radical new mission had led a popular restaurant […]
It’s been weeks since a Palestinian vegetable vendor from the West Bank town of Jericho last imported mushrooms, selling instead homegrown organic ‘shrooms grown for the first time in the West Bank. Amoro Mushroom Farm in Jericho – the first farm in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to commercially produce white mushrooms – is emerging as a […]
There’s a new business afloat that links people to people for the purpose of sharing authentic local dining experiences. I found EatWith.com a month too late for this summer’s vacation, but there’s always next time. I’m fresh back from a few weeks in Europe, a family reunion through Paris and Venice and Rome that doubled […]
Lady’s Fingers – a poetic name for a day-to-day vegetable, also known as okra. Maybe the lovely pale yellow flower sheds a little poetry over the seed pod that grows out of its heart, and which we eat as a vegetable. In the Middle East, we call it bameeyah.
According to a recent report, 81% of Egyptians don’t have enough to cover their monthly food bill A recent government survey has revealed an increasing number of Egyptians are struggling to clothe and feed themselves whilst keeping a roof over their heads. The report by the Egyptian Food Observatory found that of the 1680 households […]
Ordering a foul or falafel sandwich at any fast food chain or street vendor in Cairo puts consumers one step closer to triple bypass surgery. This has less to do with the food itself than it does with how it is prepared, since Egyptian cuisine, a fluid, nebulous thing fraught with the influence of so many […]
Sour green plums the size of large marbles are in the shuk now, a seasonal favorite of the Iraqi community. Eat them out of hand as a snack, sprinkling each bite with a little salt. The classic Iraqi way to cook them is to pair them with meat in a flavorful stew. And if you […]
Major pink slime company files for bankruptcy protection in the US. Dubbed ‘Pink Slime’ by activists and ‘finely textured beef’ by the manufacturers, beef filler made by ammonium has turned out to be a smoking gun in the food industry, demonstrating just how powerful activist intervention is in changing paradigms. One of the biggest ground […]
Food miles explained: I know the best option is to grow and buy locally. But when that isn’t possible, what is the least worse option? It was like one of those weird trivia quizzes, What do these places have in common: Israel, Egypt, Chile and the United States? The answer is that berries from these countries were […]
Cold weather is still calling for soup. Try this light, vegan one based on Jerusalem artichokes. Vegeware or do you identify as a climatarian? This might mean you might not be committed to vegetarianism, but are committed to doing your part by being vege “aware”. Here’s a great vegetarian recipe with in season Jerusalem artichoke […]
Late winter in the Middle East brings lower prices in the shuk. It’s strawberry time again in the Middle East. The sweet red berry’s price has come down to the point where even a careful shopper can allow herself a little indulgence. But let’s wait another 4-6 weeks for prices to fall even more; then […]
Researchers in Al Ain find that saffron can protect your liver from cancer. Great news just in time for Christmas: Arab scientists from the United Arab Emirates have located anti-cancer compounds in the much loved and expensive spice saffron. Known for centuries as a home remedy, the research project led by Professor Amr Amin from […]
It’s officially winter in the Middle East. We’d hoped it would be raining now, but climate change is often evident in blue skies and dry ground everywhere. While we have Covid in 2020, open-air markets are usually ringing with the shouts of vendors and the bustle of shoppers. But even as we dream about wandering […]
Is the eco-friendly food movement getting even more complicated, or are ecotarians simplifying matters? The green movement is riddled with a lot of food ideologies. When it comes to food, there are a lot of environmental issues to consider: locavores protest the pollution stemming from the transport of food from far away, vegetarians (and vegawarians) […]
A sustainable T.R.E.E. grows in Aspen, where children learn about real food. As a child, Israeli-born Eden Vardy wanted to know where his food came from. And since he grew up in Aspen, Colorado, his food generally came from a supermarket and was probably transported from far away. As he grew older and learned more […]
With so many food options and food movements out there, what do you choose? Food is a major factor in human health, and in environmental health as well. There are an abundance of eco-friendly food movements out there, including vegans, vegetarians, vegawarians, locavores, and those who eat strictly organic food. By the way, those who […]
Asparagus season is short, so rush out to the market and get your asparagus while you can. Then cook it in one of these delicious ways. It always gives me a lift when I’m trawling the shuk for local vegetables and see bundles of delicate green and purple asparagus spears. I love it for its […]
Miriam suggests ways to cook free wind-sown vegetables. At this time of year, you may find free vegetables growing in your own backyard (like Karin did), or in your windowbox. Springing up from wind-sown seeds and roots that slept underground through last summer, the newly green landscape is actually full of green vegetables. The first […]
Piquant with booze and naturally sweet, these grilled oranges are a quick, sophisticated dessert for a winter dinner. It’s still officially winter in the Middle East, although spring is making a premature appearance with warm, windy days and scanty rain. Orange trees shed their heady fragrance over sidewalks and gardens, while open-air markets display piles […]