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The Gaza Kitchen: A Palestinian Culinary Journey

The Gaza Kitchen: A Palestinian Culinary Journey

The Gaza Kitchen: A Palestinian Culinary Journey The Gaza Kitchen is a richly illustrated cookbook that explores the distinctive cuisine and food heritage of the area known prior to 1948 as the Gaza District—and that of the many refugees from elsewhere in Palestine who came to Gaza in 1948 and have been forced to stay there ever since. In summer 2010, authors Laila El-Haddad and Maggie Schmitt traveled the length and breadth of the Gaza Strip to collect the recipes presented in the book. They were also able to build on the extensive knowledg

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2 responses to “The Gaza Kitchen: A Palestinian Culinary Journey”

  1. J. Hammad says:
    13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    More than a cookbook, January 1, 2013
    By 
    J. Hammad (Over Yonder) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    You may be surprised to learn, that Arabs dont regularly cook up Shawarmas for lunch, and shish kabobs for dinner. There is a lot more to Arabic cuisine than your local “Mediterranean” restaurant has to offer. This book focus on the home cooking comfort foods that really excite you at the dinner table.

    The authors did more than compile a list of their favorite recipes, they traveled to the Gaza Strip, took great photos of the food being prepared, and layered in a lot of stories of the artisans and cooks that have honed their skills in the kitchen. The overlap of individual stories and lore really brings this book to life. The book emphasizes the Gaza kitchen experience, and brings in recipes that are virtually unknown outside of this small strip of land including Sumagiyya which is practically forgotten even in the West Bank, but such a classic Gaza dish.

    This book has been very useful for me, because it also has all of the typical home cooked dishes (Moulakhia, Mahshi (Stuffed Squash). etc), but the recipes are fine tuned so that they seem to exactly match the way that “Mom makes it”. All too often, hit-or-miss internet sourced recipes just dont seem to hit the mark, this book fixes that, and is my new “go to” cookbook for my occasional experiments in the kitchen.

    The book is organized by theme, salads in one section, soups or vegetable based dishes in another, its not too hard to find the dish you are looking for, but an index might be helpful in a 2nd edition version of this book.

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  2. Lynn B says:
    8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A Window into the Heart of Gaza, March 3, 2013
    By 
    Lynn B

    This review is from: The Gaza Kitchen: A Palestinian Culinary Journey (Paperback)

    This cookbook brings to print recipes so traditional that many Gazan friends of my generation don’t even know how to make them!

    Coming back to the States from living in Gaza a couple years ago, I had regretted not getting some of the recipes for the dishes unique to the Gaza Strip. I’ve unsuccessfully searched for hours and even asked friends for some of these recipes, but in an age when everything is online, Gazan cuisine seems to be an exception. This cookbook brought me everything I was looking for, exposed me to so much culinary culture that I hadn’t had the opportunity to experience, and brought back wonderful memories of visiting the potters who make the zibdiya, and nights out with friends at an Abu Hisara fish restaurant where the men put huge, uncleaned fish in our hands for a photo op.

    As someone who is very deeply aware of the modern story of Gaza, I tend to be somewhat skeptical of representations of life in the Strip. The authors here have painted such an accurate portrayal through the occasional facts and narratives, that I nearly felt homesick for a country that isn’t even my home. I’ve already been recommending this cookbook to people who enjoy food, but I also look forward to loaning it out to people who could use a level-headed illustration of the truth about the occupation without the usual air of activism. It’s such a well captured view of the heart of Gaza, intertwined with hard to find, crowd-pleasing recipes.

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