Category Archives: Middle Eastern Food

ZATAR – A Mediterranean Oasis Nurtures Diners with Homegrown Produce

Growing up near a fertile riverbank in Iraq, Waiel Majid’s family naturally enjoyed cucumbers, green beans, lettuce, tomatoes, eggplant and squash from their garden. Now the transplanted Majid and his wife serve their own homegrown vegetables on plates of Mediterranean delicacies at their Berkeley restaurant ZATAR. Continue reading

Posted in Immigrants' stories, Lebanese food, Middle Eastern Food, Morocco | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Palestinian Family Shares Treasured Dishes at Zaki Kabob House

You’ve had falafel, you’ve had shawarma, but have you tried spheeha, maklouba or mensaf? Zaki Kabob House in Albany is one of the few restaurants that serves these specialties of Palestinian cuisine. Family-owned and run by Fayza and Kameem Ayyad and their children, Zaki offers tastes of another world, plus warm hospitality. Continue reading

Posted in Immigrants' stories, Lebanese food, Middle Eastern Food, Palestinian cuisine | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Persian New Year Greets Spring with Symbolic Traditions and Treats

Persian New Year (Norooz or Nowruz) is a 3000 year old celebration, observed around the world on the first day of Spring. Its many traditions include a table of 7 foods that start with “S” in Farsi, and jumping over bonfires. Monier Attar of Zands Market is busily preparing everything her Persian patrons will need for the holiday, from a creamy pudding of sprouted wheat to flower-shaped chickpea flour cookies. Continue reading

Posted in Middle Eastern Food, Persian/Iranian | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Jeannette Jafarzadeh’s Journey to Middle East Market

The aromatic Persian bread baked by Ecuadorian-born Jeannette Jafarzadeh at Berkeley’s Middle East Market only hints at her two year detention in Iran. Continue reading

Posted in Immigrants' stories, Middle Eastern Food, Persian/Iranian | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Falafel Inflames Passions (and tastes yummy)

Falafel ( crispy fried chickpea balls) has been eaten all over the Middle East for thousands of years. Besides being a tasty, nutritious, vegetarian and cheap meal, it is emblematic of larger battles between Israel and its neighbors over land, history and power. Continue reading

Posted in Egyptian food, Israeli food, Lebanese food, Middle Eastern Food, vegetarian ffod | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Halvah Heritage

Halvah, or halva, is one of the world’s oldest sweets with variations in more than 30 countries. Two main types: made with semolina or sesame seeds. Continue reading

Posted in Afghan Food, gluten-free food, Jewish Food, Lebanese food, Middle Eastern Food, Persian/Iranian, Turkey | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Comments

Fresh Filo Dough at Oasis Market – not a mirage

Fresh filo dough makes a world of difference If you think baklava is simply a soggy square of solid sweetness, guess again.  Tasting  baklava made from fresh filo dough – instead of the frozen stuff that comes in a box … Continue reading

Posted in Middle Eastern Food | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments