Damascene Food

It’s interesting how different cultures can shape a society. Being in Canada, we are so diverse that I think it has made us more understanding about others. Most recently, we’ve had many Syrian refugees come to Canada. Other than all the tragedy that the media exposes about Syria, I’m not sure many people know much more than…

Bolanee – Afghani Style Flatbread

Bolanee, also known as bolani, is a warm Afghani styled stuffed unleavened flat bread. The naan (an alternative name for bread) is soft and the filling is often a vegetable mashed up and enhanced with spices. It’s similar to the Mexican version of a quesadilla, only a traditional bolanee contains no meat or cheese but pure vegetable. These days, there…

When in Turkey – Have Green Apple Tea!

Elma çaya, also known as green apple tea, is a popular drink that is served in Turkey. It can be served hot or cold, but either way it’s delicious and a good alternative to the usual coffee or tea. Although I do wonder if it’s something they like to serve mainly to children or tourists…

Köfte

Köfte is eaten all over the world, from Asia to the Middle East to Africa and even North America. They are little patties usually made of ground meat, somewhat like little sliders minus the bun. It’s when I went to Turkey that I came across a spice mix for the first time. It’s relatively easy…

Manakeesh

Italy is well known for making pizza, but then there are those other cultures that have something similar. A Middle Eastern version of pizza is called manakeesh. These are made with a flat bread crust and decorated with various toppings like a standard pizza, but their flavours are Middle Eastern inspired. You can find pizzas with thyme, cheese, feta…

Variations of Baklava – The Bird Nest

To me, a standard baklava is made with phyllo pastry and is filled with honey and nuts. It is typically cut in triangles and is easily found in many Greek or Middle Eastern restaurants or grocery stores. However, there isn’t just one type of baklava. There is a beautiful one that resembles a bird’s nest. Looking at it,…

Moussaka and Greek Salad

I think I am very liberal when it comes to trying new types of food. Whether it be weird insects or various offal parts, I walk a path that believes you can’t knock it until you try it (even if I have to do it with my eyes closed). So even though I don’t have a liking for…

Three Types of Macaroons

I was a bit mind blown today. I’ve always known that there were two types of macaroons – the coconut kind which are sweet little yellow drops of shredded coconut and…. …the ever so popular sweet mini sandwich-like French macaroons which are two cookies filled with cream. People often confuse the two, but they are nothing alike. The…

Kibbeh – A Little Mediterranean Football

Kibbeh – also known kibbi, kibbe, kibeh, etc. – are delicious little snacks, appetizers or hor d’oeuvres that come shaped like puffy marquise diamonds. They’re like falafel balls, but are made of bulgur (a wheat that has been steamed, dried and crushed) instead of chickpeas and are stuffed with fillings like spinach, cheese, ground meat,…

Ghoraybey

I’ve always been curious about those beautifully decorated cookies and pastries in the window sill of a local Lebanese store that I pass by frequently. I decided to try one called ghoraybey. They come in miniature size and regular size and have a signature pistachio nut on each. I ended up getting the bigger ones…

Fatteh – A Light Bulb Moment

I needed to grab a quick bite before going to class and had one of those I’m feeling adventurous moments. I hopped into a Mediterranean restaurant hoping I’d find something new to try and went with an appetizer that had a vague description: “Whole chickpeas, mix of chickpea paste and tahini sauce, and fried bread topped…

Afghani Style Food

I love Afghani food and we are very fortunate to have many good options for Afghani restaurants in Toronto and the GTA. The closest thing I can compare Afghani food to is a mix between Indian food and Middle Eastern food. One dish you can find plenty of in Afghani cuisine is kebabs. Many spices are used to season the…