Gaza Palestinian Food
The founding of Israel in 1948 separated what is now Gaza from the rest of historic Palestine, divided the historic Gaza Strip, and cut it off by Israel's occupation of Egypt and the West Bank in 1967. A new cookbook, Gaza Kitchen, weaves a small - well-known - story of the history of food and food culture in Gaza. In particular, he highlights and flavors Gaza's history as a crossroads between Egypt, Israel, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America.
Egypt ruled, Gaza came under Egyptian control, Jordan controlled the West Bank, Israel controlled the rest of Palestine, and Israel occupied the territory that was once part of Palestinian Palestine. Egyptian rule in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as in Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Sudan, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Kuwait, Oman, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, South Africa, and Yemen, was once all part of Palestinian rule.
In 1967, Israel captured the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza Strip and parts of the East Bank in the Six-Day War. Israel and the PLO signed a historic agreement calling for Israel's withdrawal from the occupied territories and the creation of a Palestinian National Authority. After Israel withdrew its troops from most of these areas and elected Arafat president, Palestinians in both Gaza and the West Bank reached this milestone.
More than half a million Palestinians were driven from their homes, and most Palestinians stopped cooking traditional fish dishes and behaved without access to the Mediterranean. However, in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip, each population has its own cooking style.
Palestinian chefs in Israel have blended their culinary traditions with their new surroundings, while Palestinian chefs from the West Bank are modernizing their dishes. Palestinian restaurants in Israel serve to distance Palestinians further from their roots when they serve more modern dishes.
Therefore, many Palestinians living in the occupied territories believe that they have forgotten the importance of the sea and Palestinian cuisine. Palestinian food will always be rooted, "he believes, meaning that the Palestinian territories have many culinary similarities to places like Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. As Israel continues its West Bank settlement program and confiscates Palestinian territory, the connection between Palestinians and their land is becoming more important, he says.
Laila el-Haddad, a Palestinian and American who spent her childhood and summers in Gaza, says food has always been an important part of her heritage and Palestinian identity, which she has remained attached to throughout the summer. El-Haddad, the author of "Gaza Kitchen," lives in Maryland and was born in Kuwait to parents who grew up in different corners of Gaza.
There are three Palestinian food regions and there are Palestinians living in the occupied territories, and that is where my family comes from. The West Bank and Gaza are oil-producing countries - Arab states, neighboring Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and even Egypt. Palestinian food comes from Galilee, the northern part of Mandate Palestine, which is now under the control of the State of Israel. It is the main source of food for the people of Gaza and the Middle East and has a huge impact on their food security and health.
Israel has 83% of the water in the aquifer used in Israel, and it has the right to use it. Palestinian foreign trade is dependent on the Israeli authorities, as Israel controls the West Bank border, including Gaza, East Jerusalem, Gaza City, Hebron, Ramallah, Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.
Table 2 describes Palestinian and Israeli produced versions of goods sold in Palestine and their prices. On my bookshelf are a number of excellent cookbooks, including "Thirst for Justice" and "Gaza Kitchen" by the Palestinian Food Institute. These dishes are featured in a seductive new cookbook, "Gaza Kitchen," which combines recipes from a variety of Palestinian, Israeli and U.S. restaurants in the Gaza Strip.
For a people struggling to establish its own state, traditional food is an important part of its national heritage. Palestinian contributions to Israeli cuisine, which presents dishes of "Palestinian origin" and "Israeli" origin, they dispute. Looking at the lives of Palestinians every day, I argue that Israeli politics has shaped their lives. Palestinians in the West Bank go far beyond the usual hummus and chickpea paste.
In Gaza, this is a way to nibble through a rich Palestinian history: Kishik is a fermented wheat and milk stew made in the Palestinian Arab villages that were depopulated during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. Palestinian Zaatar, Gaza is home to the increasingly popular Dolga salad, not to be confused with the more popular salad of the same name in Israel and the West Bank.
As far as "Palestinian food" is concerned, Gaza is characterised by a great variety of different kinds of vegetables, fruits, meat and vegetables. Much of the food from Gaza is spread in Israel and the West Bank, as well as other parts of the Middle East and North Africa.