At its nearest, the shores of Turkey are a mere five kilometers away from the Greek island of Lesbos, close enough for the people of Lesbos to witness lines of boats heading towards their island. At first a trickle at the onset of the Syrian Civil War, the flow of refugees – along with other regional migrants from the surrounding nations – swelled to many boatloads, arriving everyday for the past couple of years. For the Strait of Mytilini, however, this is an old story.
In an increasingly globalized world, more and more weddings have become multicultural affairs. Guests from multiple continents eat food from varying cuisines, all at the same reception. Whether ceremonies indulge in extravagance or find solace in simplicity, Nilou Nouri ensures cultural traditions are preserved to grant newlyweds the happily-ever-afters of their dreams.
Author: Clara Ritger
Where you are from is often a good predictor of what you like to eat. Nostalgia for our regional cuisine—“what mom always made”—drives our preferences in the kitchen. Being from the west coast, my jaw dropped when I found out two Southern friends would be bringing mac ‘n’ cheese to our Thanksgiving party. While you would never find mac ‘n’ cheese on my family’s Thanksgiving table, I was told it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving in the South without it.
By J. Estevez
I was recently asked by my good friends at NooshTube to interview the culinary brains behind DC’s newest Peruvian restaurant, Nazca Mochica (pronounced: Nas-Ka Moh-chee-ka), one of the recent additions to the booming international restaurant scene in Washington, DC.
The interplay of community building and immigrant entrepreneurialism lies at the heart of NooshTube’s message of Yummy Diplomacy. It is no surprise, then, that the NooshTube team would so enthusiastically forge a partnership with Saving Cities, an organization based in Cleveland, Ohio. Saving Cities has a very unique mission – realizing the present-day potential of the American Midwest.
By Emily Grumbling
As the days get shorter and colder, fall traditions begin. Harvests are brought in from the fields. Homes are prepared for winter. Warm comfort foods, such as soups and pies, are relished. Today, many will celebrate Mehregan, an autumn festival with origins in ancient Persia, whose observance has spanned thousands of years. It is a day of harvest, charity, and thanks, accented by traditional meals such as lentil and lime stew, rice balls, and figs.
Ah, yes… mixologists. Would it be so farfetched to call them the alchemists of the culinary world? With pinches and dashes of sundry ingredients, they spice up occasions with ease.
Taha Ismail is one such tinkerer of tonics based in Washington, DC. As head mixologist at Kapnos, and having worked at other Mike Isabella restaurants like Graffiato, Taha currently has his signature on over 50 cocktails. His drinks have been enjoyed by many DC politicos – including First Lady Michelle Obama and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
Washington, DC has its fair share of surprises, but an ambassador sporting a chef’s hat? Or is it a chef fully proficient at being an emissary? Emissaries are not just experts in their own histories and cultures, but they are also adept conveyors of tradition to other societies. Cuisines, being windows to equally a grandmother’s kitchen or royal banquet halls, capture traditions best – a warm waft of a dish can dig deep into any national and personal identities.
By Michael J. Cain
Growing up in a small town in the Midwest provided few opportunities to experience international foods. At home we ate pot roast and chicken and rarely went out to a restaurant. I’d eaten plenty of spaghetti as a kid, but that didn’t mean I had eaten Italian food. Mexican food had never been served in my home, nor had German, Greek or Middle Eastern dishes. Once I left home and began making food choices on my own, I was amazed at the variety of options.
Not many regions of the world can truly claim the title of “crossroads of history” as soundly as Syria. Along its river valleys and fertile plains, the very origins of human civilization first took root. Ever since, almost every sector of humankind – civilized or otherwise – tried to lay claim to Syria as its own. So much has passed through its many towns and villages – caravans, mystics, whole armies and tribes – that Syria is still to this day grappling to write its history.