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Flavours of Tradition: Exploring Palestinian Cuisine Through 5 Cookbooks

Books Cooking food Palestine
Flavours of Tradition: Exploring Palestinian Cuisine Through 5 Cookbooks
written by
Safy Allam

Palestinian cuisine is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. It’s a culinary narrative that weaves centuries of tradition, regional diversity, and a deep connection to the land. Rooted in a land known for its ancient olive groves, bustling spice markets, and a profound connection to the Mediterranean Sea, Palestinian cooking reflects a story that stretches back through generations, inviting us to savour the essence of a culture rich in heritage. From the aromatic spices of local markets to the timeless dishes shared at family gatherings, the following five cookbooks will unravel a flavourful voyage of recipes.


The Palestinian Table by Reem Kassis

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Through recipes and stories, Reem Kassis’ 2017 cookbook explores the essence of heritage and community while developing a sense of “place”. The Palestinian Table is a striking account of gastronomic heritage that should be in the hands of anyone keen to explore and experience the diversity of Palestinian recipes. The dishes featured make up a collection of simple pleasures that will enrich your cooking skills.


Zaitoun: Recipes and Stories from the Palestinian Kitchen by Yasmin Khan

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In her book, published in 2019, Yasmin Khan hoists us into a journey through different cities in Palestine “From the sun-kissed pomegranate stalls of Akka, on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, through evergreen oases of date plantations in the Jordan Valley, to the fading fish markets of Gaza City.” From the comfort of your own home, this dazzling cookbook will take you through different kitchens of Palestinians from various backgrounds while sharing their secrets and unravelling their stories through cuisine.


Palestine on a Plate: Memories from My Mother’s Kitchen by Joudie Kalla

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Joudie Kalla’s cookbook is a celebration of family, cooking, and being a proud Palestinian. Published in 2016, this book shares recipes handed down over the generations of the Kalla family. In it, Joudie shares the recipes prepared with love, which she and many Palestinians grew up savouring, hoping that her readers could be as immersed as she was within the cultural stories shared within the Palestinian kitchen.


The Gaza Kitchen: A Palestinian Culinary Journey by Laila El-Haddad and Maggie Schmitt

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Published in 2013, this cookbook focuses on exploring the historic culinary heritage of Palestine before 1948 within the Gaza Strip and how the refugees’ arrival to the area shaped its diverse cuisine. The book uniquely holds cooking recipes as well as personal stories from Gazans and relates them to farming and the food economy.


Falastin: A Cookbook by Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley

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In his book, published in 2020, Sami Tamimi captures the evolution of Palestinian cuisine while showcasing the distinct culinary traditions and Palestinian cooks’ creativity and resourcefulness. This world-famous book, named after a Palestinian newspaper, caused a buzz in the cooking industry. Both authors try to portray the Palestinian culture and experience through an exceptional chef’s take as he invites us along his journey of creation and discovery.