Coffee and Culture

I have often heard nostalgic stories from my mother and looked at endless pictures of Libya’s golden years, a time that seems to good to be true for people of my generation. The 1950’s and 60’s, that brief period when Libya gained independence and Tripoli was a thriving progressive metropolis, and Libyan Muslims coexisted with Jews;…

Eid Al-Fitr by Dr. Seuss

I would like to take a moment away from my family and festivities to share this Eid greeting with you. Inspired by Dr. Seuss, my husband drew the Saraya (himself, he’s so talented!) and posted it to all his family and friends on Facebook. And in the same spirit, this was my reply! I hope…

Ramadan in a Sofra

At sunset every day, during the holy month of Ramadan, the Sofra is the magnet that pulls family members together. Mom and the older girls emerge from the kitchen;  Dad comes home from mindlessly roaming the street – avoiding his stressed out wife; the zombie-like teenagers are freed from the trance of their mobile phones and…

The Spirit of Ramadan Past

Ramadan is a month of fasting and feasting.  More pious Muslims will say that feasting defies the purpose of the month, that really it is a month for worship only. But for me feasting is integral to Ramadan. It puts our plentiful food into stark contrast with our daytime deprivation, making us even more grateful…

Tagine Malsouka: A Tunisian Showstopper

Most of us know Tagines as the elaborate sweet and savory dishes from Morocco, cooked in a conical clay Tagine pot on the stove or over coals. Tagines in Tunisia and Libya are only savory and are always slow cooked in the oven – more casserole than stew. In Tunisia these casseroles almost always contain eggs,…

Food Truck Nation

For most people, the name “food truck” will conjure images of gourmet burgers and fusion tacos. Across the United States and Europe these mobile eateries offer haute cuisine for the masses. This hot trend has started to catch on in the Middle East, especially in Dubai. In older cosmopolitan cities like Cairo and Istanbul, food…

Ka’ak Alrabe’a: Spring Rings

Click here to go straight to the recipe As spring struggles to push the winter out during this volatile month, or as the common Italian saying goes Marzo è pazzo  “March is Crazy!”; the women of the Jufra are busy baking golden sweet Ka’ak Alrabea.  These rich fluffy rings of bread are then presented in…

Another Spring

I started the We Are Food blog to satisfy an unrelenting need to identify with my Libyan roots. I wanted to understand what being Libyan meant; to define the Libyan identity. Part of our cultural heritage was lost through globalization and a desperate need to modernize ourselves; to be en vogue and up to date with the rest of…

Hand, Spoon, Fork : The Evolution of Libyan Food Culture

Through my endless readings and observations in Libyan Food Culture since first starting the We Are Food project in 2009, I find myself grouping Libyan recipes into three major categories, Hand – Spoon – Fork, or food which would require one of these three as the main eating utensil. From the very humble diet of the indigenous…

Patriotism and Happiness

I just wanted to share some pictures from around Tripoli today (and some of my little BIG girl Dana). Happy 17th of February and Viva Libya!

Aseeda Barley Porridge

Barley forms the staple grain, along with durum wheat (hard wheat which is made into semolina) in the western region of Libya for both the Bedouin Arabs and the Amazigh Berbers. Barley is usually lightly toasted before being milled into flour used to make an array of pastes, dough and bread. Barley porridge, called bazeen…

Naturally Sweet Date Syrup

Islamic celebrations follow a lunar calendar meaning that they fall on different dates every year. As such most food traditions tend to be based on year round staples rather than seasonal produce. Miloud, or Mawlid Al Nabi, the prophet Mohammed’s birthday, is welcomed every year with a hearty barley based porridge (aseeda) topped with date…