The Spill: Food is Political

Food is political
In my country food changed from being a commodity into a tool used by the ever-ruling parties to tame all the citizens especially those who dissed those parties when October 17 felt like a breath of fresh air.

The Spill Political Food cookin5m2

Food is political.
And politics is now dictating what we eat and how we cook.
With the soaring prices of everything due to the inflation and the collapse of the local currency against the dollar, people resorted to looking for alternatives. Imported goods have tripled if not quadrupled in price, which affected most of the local industries as they heavily rely on imported raw materials, which caused their price to also spike, since their only way of getting dollars is at the higher black market rate that is almost reaching 6 to 7 times more than the official rate. With the –expected– lack of support from the government, it is the least described as hell. Continue reading

Scrambled Eggs with Desert Truffles

I remember one time walking out of Hamra street, a once vibrant street in Beirut, during the last days of winter and seeing a vendor with styrofoam boxes overflowing with lump-like things held together with clear tape.
The first time I saw these sandy-stone-like produce I thought they were the world prized truffles with the amazing flavor and the unique aroma. I made risotto and shaved* some of those on top. I even buried one in a jar of short grain rice to fragrance it for risotto.

*shaved, more like crumbled it on the box grater’s slicer side only to get grains of sand later with every bite because I didn’t clean them well

PIN- Desert truffle kema kama with eggs recipe - cookin5m2-0010

Only later did I learn that these truffles are not the same thing.
These beautiful spores are called Desert Truffles. They are harvested not using dogs or pigs like western truffles but by roaming the desert landscapes (not desert dunes, but bare lands with rare vegetation) looking for bumps and cracks in the land. They dig their hands down and pull out the sand hoping there’s a something worthy in there.

Desert truffle kema kama food photography - cookin5m2-0012 Continue reading

Zalabye; Fried Dough for Epiphany

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Some serious social media suicidal thoughts were spinning around my head.

I have neglected my social media accounts to a point that they might have died. I tried reviving my Instagram account. But still, I have reached a point where I do activities that I don’t want to share online. I meet people and rather not post a photo of us together.
Is this growth? Is this growing weary of social media? Is it social media suicide?

It is equivalent to leaving the big city and escaping to the mountains and seeing no one, sitting in between of beautiful high trees and waking up to the sound of roosters calling the sun to climb up from its slumber. It isn’t that bad if you think about it.

But for someone who is making a living from being online, sharing stuff online, and getting work from doing work and sharing it on the worldwide web… THIS IS SUICIDE!

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Spicy Cheese Tripolitan Kaak and Salmon Cream Cheese Kaak

After touring all day with an Irish couple coming for the Taste Lebanon company I am part of and walking for more than 9.2 Kms, my family decided to go to Tripoli to the Ramadan daily special Iftar and sohour (the after midnight meal that should help you sustain an all-day fasting) that spread all over the city

PIN-Spicy Cheese Tripolitan Kaak and Salmon Cream Cheese Kaak - cookin5m2 -2027

After walking around in the old souk and Khan Al Aaskar, I was delighted by the liveliness of the city. Muslims break their fast at around 8 pm and after that, they’re out in the streets shopping and eating and drinking and playing cards in coffee shops and having a good time. Continue reading

Summer Farewell Chopped Salad

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Summer is officially over. Today marks the start of Autumn, but the weather has already changed with a mellowing breeze and yellowing trees. There’s a charm about this season. Villagers and orchard owners believe that this is the most generous time of the year. The crops are plenty and the orchards look beautiful with the trees and vines bearing fruits from all colors.

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