Syrian Cuisine: Preserved Lemon

 

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One of the most indispensible ingredients in Middle-Eastern cuisine is preserved lemon, a must-have for so many dishes like tajines, hummus, stews, salads, couscous, grilled lamb and chicken, the list goes on and on. So many dishes from Syria and the Levant are improved, enriched and brightened up with this fantastic condiment that once you get used to cooking with them, you’ll want to chop up a little preserved lemon in almost everything you make.
This means you’ll want to have a jar of preserved lemon handy, and lucky for us all, making and keeping preserved lemons is ridiculously quick and easy. Caveat: you have to wait a month before using them, so why not make a batch today and enjoy them in early June and for the rest of the summer! Continue »



Syrian Coffee

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It’s always interesting to see how a food item, or culinary ingredient is manifested in different cultures around the world. Something like a dumpling, for example may appear bobbing on the top of a pot of chicken stew in the maritime provinces of Canada, but in other cultures dumplings take on various and exquisite forms- shaped by centuries of tinkering and tweaking, and traditions based on the history of one’s country.

Coffee is another example of how a universal foodstuff is enjoyed differently from culture to culture. In Canada the most prevalent way of drinking coffee is probably a drip type deal, using a contraption that boils water and lets it drip through the grounds, either once, or several times, as in the case of percolator coffee. Sad to say but the typical Canadian coffee experience can be summed up by one word uttered twice; double double. Continue »



Syrian Cuisine

 

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It is no secret that Toronto is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world; almost half of our population was born outside of this country, and the city is famous for its neighbourhoods that reflect this. It’s not surprising that new Canadians tend to first settle in neighbourhoods where the majority of residents are from similar backgrounds, with language, and cultural similarities that ease the transition to a new country. As a result the city ends up with little pockets of diverse cultures and culinary traditions popping up all over, whether it’s Greek culture and cuisine along the Danforth, Chinese culture on Spadina or East European shops and bistros on Roncesvalles. Continue »