Peace and food

8228276526_69689299e2_zHave you ever wondered where Baklava comes from!? If you want to know, try to throw your question during a dinner bringing together a Tunisian, a Middle Eastern, a Turkish, a Greek and an Armenian…

Each of them will keep on going on the origins of baklava and how the best baklava undeniably comes from his/her mother land. Needless to say that any other baklava you may try is just a mere replica… The same goes with Chawarma, aka Gyros aka Doner kebab… different names for the same yummy greasy meat sandwich… funny!!!!!

It is wonderful how the food we eat everyday carries so much history. If Baklava is so spread around the Mediterranean it is because of the Ottoman Empire that ruled the region for centuries. The cultures within the empire got mixed and go look now for the origins of Baklava, good luck.

We are not that different after all and our food is here to confirm it, actually it proves that we are very similar and have so much to share… and as my friend John would say: “Even tho many countries make their own baklava, they are practically all the same – just like human beings. No matter where we are from – we have mostly the same basic needs/desires. WE ARE ALL ONE BAKLAVA

That reminds me of when I went to Turkey and figured out that the words I was used to hear in the Egyptian movies were actually Turkish, words like Gazma, chanta, abla, abi… the Egyptian language and pronunciation completely changed after the 5 centuries ruling of The Mamalik. And on the other hand the Turkish language carries lots of Arabic words as well as Hungarian influences, eastern Europeans, Balkans…

DSC01596*In Tunisia, the food reveals the mix of cultures that lived in Tunisia through the ages: Berbers Mediterraneans, Arabs, Andalusians, Séfarade Jewish… Ah I really miss the food de mi tierra,, mloukhiya, madfouna bil hargma, chminka, roasted lamb head, brik, slata mechouia, and the delicious Mediterranean fish.

Don’t go say this to my mom though, she would feel sad for me, and for no reason cause I am enjoying my food here… One of the things I love so much about Toronto is the diversity of food you can have, AMAZING. You pretty much can find whatever food you may have in any other part of the planet, all but Tunisian (for that you gotta go to Montreal), there is only one Tunisian restaurant here but (to my deep regret) not that good and they have a limited menu.

But there is no reason to whine, when you can have a tasty tiger shrimp Pad Thai, an “all you can eat sushi”, a Caribbean curried goat or jerk chicken, Chinese food (so tasty), Indian food etc etc. and I am still discovering, soon I’ll try Persian food, east African, Vietnamese… Any suggestions?

I should stop, it is lunch time and I think it is my hunger talking not me…

Bon appétit

*Slata Mechouia courtesy of Haroun Inc.

This entry was posted in Cultural stuff, Rants, Travel. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Peace and food

  1. Actually, the turkish language touched our dialect… The famous kaftaji is in fact köfteci (turkish spelling)… the “ci” added to the end of a word means “seller of” the thing that comes before it… (I discovered all this while in the US too, and they discovered how much arabic they had in their language 😉 I’ll add 2 drinks to your list: Ouzo/Raki/H’rak depending on where you are from, and the famous Turkish/Greek/Moorish coffee… Nice entry! And I envy! I so very much miss Sushi, miso soup, and Kun Pao Chicken…

  2. BravoUn site tres sympa et riche en InfosKeep going!!El

  3. A. says:

    True Jojo, and I was wondering why is it called kaftaji when it doesn’t look at all like the turkish köfte… Maybe one day we can team up to write something about that 🙂 or maybe open a sushi restaurant in Tunis… wasaaabiiiiEl Greco: Merci beaucoup, j’apprécie énormément que vous reveniez.

  4. SkyDancer says:

    Salut..Desolé pour le message hors sujet:) mais la cause en vaut la peine (enfin.. Je l’espere 😀 )En fait, en organise le 12 eme blog Meet Up à tunis ce samedi à Biwa vers 16h..Il y aura plein de bloggeurs.. Et ça nous ferait plaisir que tu viennes..Il y a plus de details sur mon blog 😉 et n’hesites pas d’emmener tout les bloggeurs que tu connais avec toi ;)On compte sur toi !!A plouch .. On attend ton ” Ok je viens sur mon blog:) )PS : tu peux me contacter par mail si tu veux, je te donnerais plus de details Et Je pourrais t’indiquer le plan d’acces aussi 😉

  5. nivthum says:

    baklava is turkish!! he heh. 🙂 it`s really nice entry.

  6. PeckoPivo says:

    dude, you`re sooo wrong…Baklava is Serbian!!! 🙂

  7. isabel says:

    noooope… it’s bulgarian!! ;)just kidding. great post, anis, the history behind various foods is fascinating!!

  8. hamesha: says:

    Another great multicultural gastronomic mess is the Kebab: we (Afghanistan) claim it with equal vigor as Turkey, Iran, virtually all of the Arab world, India, and I don’t know who else..

  9. Anonymous says:

    your friend John must be exceptionally brilliant to come up with such a profound statement. I can tell by the quality of his afore-mentioned thought that he must possess keen insights into the human soul…and have huge balls.keep up the good work.

  10. A. says:

    Indeed, my friend is a philosopher as wise as Socrates and as strong as Hercules… I don’t know about the balls though :p A.

  11. Jo says:

    “Baklava tension increases; protests planned for Istanbul” Don’t laugh it’s serious !!!! “Turkish baklava producers are protesting Greek Cypriot claims that the sweet dessert is their own national creation, with support for their protest coming from State Minister and EU Chief Negotiator Ali Babacan in the EU General Secretariat” from Turkish News paper “Hurriyet”

  12. Pingback: Episode 001 Culture Matters Podcast with Anis Bedda

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