Monday, 15 February 2010

The Israeli / Arab Food War.....

Many have heard or read about the Israeli / Arab food war, this began when Israel decided that some popular Middle Eastern dishes are Israeli dishes and they went as far as calling them Israeli traditional food ignoring the fact that some of these dishes have been served in the Middle East for many centuries.
In the news in recent months they reported about the biggest Humus and Tabouleh dishes prepared by Lebanese chefs to enter the Guinness World Of Records and to be registered as Lebanese traditional food dishes and not Israeli, as far as I remember Lebanon succeeded in their bid.
While I understand that many Jews that lived in Arab/Middle Eastern countries may have taken with them these dishes when they immigrated to Israel but I do not think that this changes the identity of the food too!
In Libya there are food dishes that were associated with the Libyan Jewish community such as Haraimi but at the end this is a Libyan dish and not Israeli so can you imagine my surprise when I discovered that the Israeli/Arab food war has actually reached Libya!
The following pictures are from a flight magazine where they had an article about Israeli food, the article lists some "Popular Israeli Dishes" that are all very traditional Arab dishes including Schawarma and Falafel but wait for it: SHAKSHUKA! yes our very own Libyan Shakshuka has become a Popular Israeli Dish!!


click on picture for a bigger view
The article to be fair, did mention that Libyan Jews brought this dish to Israel when they immigrated yet still its listed under popular Israeli dishes, I wonder where else the fact that this is a Libyan dish is listed! soon it will become as a traditional Israeli dish as they have claimed Humus, Tabouleh and Falafel are.
Here is what the article says:
This ultra basic combination of eggs, tomatoes, garlic and spices cooked over high heat arrived in Israel from Libya in the 1950s. Originally a staple of the urban lower classes, today shakshuka can be found nationwide and has become a true culinary icon.

38 comments:

Bumedian said...

Salam
For us here in Libya most of the dishes are originally Turkish and I used to hear that there was some dishes that only Jew was doing it but it was mixed with the local culture as they where Libyan any way and not Israeli as there was nothing named israli all the way…
Shakshuka is a cool fast dish  I like it sometimes ….

Thank you

Lebeeya said...

Now they want to take our food :(

Hb said...

مساء الخيرات

ان عادات اليهود وتقاليدهم كانت خاصة بهم دون غيرهم سواء في الأكل أو ي غيره..

ناصر فعلاً في أكلات يهودية إحنا تعلمناهم منهم في طرابلس.مثلاُ حشي عويناتك كسكسي الحوت.أمي تقولي انه أكلة يهود طرابلس في المدينة القديمة ..ولو تلاحظ الأكلات الليبية الي يكتر فيها الثوم فهي ترجع ليهود ليبيا أو يهود طرابلس..الشكشوكة والحرايمي
هي أكلات ينشهر اليهود بيها و تعلموها أهل طرابلس منهم ..
وبدوا يطيبوا فيها وياكلوا فيها ومع مرور الوقت انشهرت بين الليبين بس الي اخترعوا هاللأكلات هم يهود طرابلس .
وهاذي حقيقة لازم نفهموها ونعترفوا بيها ..

بعدين ماننسوش أن اليهود الطرابلسين ليبين أيضاً أصلهم ليبين بغض النظر عن وجود دولة ليهم أو مافيش.
بش هما اسمهم ليبين ..

يعني احني في كل منطقة في ليبيا اكلات ينشهروا بيها ومعروفه عندهم بس احني في طرابلس مانعرفوهاش وماناكلوهاش بنفس الطريقة

Hb said...

اه عندي اضافه ثانية:
و الفاصولية بالكرشة
من اكلات يهود طرابلس المحببه ليهم

WEDA said...

اعجبتني حقا حبك للالمام والقراءة

Maya M said...

Well, I think there may be some misunderstanding.
Soon after I got married, friends gave me as a present the thick, hardcover book "Bulgarian traditional kitchen" (as if I like cooking, or can do it - old friends should have known me better!).
The authors explained that they deliberately avoided the expression "national kitchen", because it implied a claim of invention, and many of the "Bulgarian" dishes were actually borrowed from other nations. So they called the kitchen "traditional", which (to their opinion) meant just that the dishes had been popular in Bulgaria for a long time.
In a country as young as Israel, half a century of use is surely enough to make a dish "traditional", no matter where it was originally brought from.

Luna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anglo-Libyan said...

thank you all for the very interesting additions to this post :o)

Ahmed said...

لاحول ولا قوة الا بالله

محمد said...

عفوا: أن تقولوا أنها أكلات ليهود ليبيا في الأصل فهذا كلام مغلوط / بل وقصر نظر / الأكلات هذه ليبية ومنها ماهو قادم من مناطق أخرى/ لكن تفسير أن اليهود كانوا أكثر من يستعملها ! فذلك لأن هذه الاطباق مكلفة ولايستطيع غالبية الليبيين آنذاك عملها كل يوم - في حين أن اليهود يستطيعون ذلك لما عرف عن حسن حالتهم المالية/ فلا تكون قصير نظر! والله المستعان

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Anonymous said...

Israelis don't "claim" shakshuka, or falafel or humus like they invented it or are the only ones who make it. As you noted, the article just said it was a dish popular there, and they even noted Libya as its origin. These same foods are made all over Middle East; there is an Israeli / Palestinian style, however. ( For instance israeli/Palestinian falafel is in balls and is all chickpea with no fava. )
Israel is a very modern multicultural place, combining of various cultures in an exciting mix with a sense of adventure . That to me is a good thing, not something to be criticized or taken as usurping.

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