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  • A Taste of Druze Cuisine

    The hospitality and cuisine of the Druze community have been known for more than a thousand years in the eastern Mediterranean and Middle East. The modern states of Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Jordan have the largest Druze populations today, but you can also find Druze people in many other countries.

    In New York City, Israeli Druze chef Gazala Halabi owns two acclaimed Druze restaurants, one in Hell's Kitchen and a second on the Upper West Side. That's it, though: If you want authentic Druze cuisine outside Manhattan, you're on your own.

    Ronit has a special nostalgia for Druze cookery. While growing up in Israel, she loved to stop by Druze villages for a favorite treat: crepe-thin Druze pitas, made of dough thats stretched and spun before being tossed onto a convex outdoor griddle where it bubbles as it bakes. Continue reading

  • Tagine Treasure of the Desert

    The nomadic tribes of North Africa have been traveling across deserts and mountainous terrain for centuries, setting up camp and using tagine (or tajine) pots as portable cauldrons for cooking stews over an open-fire pit. The method might have been slow, but the meal was an all-in-one feast, much like a modern-day crockpot -- for these desert peoples, it was a matter of survival.

    Tagine derives its culinary name from countries such as Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria. These North African countries have a rich culture steeped in Arab, Berber, European and other African influences -- specifically the tagine pots, which are as significant to their cookery as a wok is to Asian cuisine. Continue reading

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