From family staples to national dishes, Making Levantine Cuisine addresses the transnational histories and cultural nuances of the ingredients, recipes, and foodways that place the Levant onto an ever-shifting global culinary map.
Melding the rural and the urban with the local, regional, and global, Levantine cuisine is a mélange of ingredients, recipes, and modes of consumption rooted in the Eastern Mediterranean. Making Levantine Cuisine provides much-needed scholarly attention to the region’s culinary cultures while teasing apart the tangled histories and knotted migrations of food. Akin to the region itself, the culinary repertoires that comprise Levantine cuisine endure and transform—are unified but not uniform. This book delves into the production and circulation of sugar, olive oil, and pistachios; examines the social origins of kibbe, Adana kebab, shakshuka, falafel, and shawarma; and offers a sprinkling of family recipes along the way. The histories of these ingredients and dishes, now so emblematic of the Levant, reveal the processes that codified them as national foods, the faulty binaries of Arab or Jewish and traditional or modern, and the global nature of foodways. Making Levantine Cuisine draws from personal archives and public memory to illustrate the diverse past and persistent cultural unity of a politically divided region.