History of Baklava

Introduction Is it baklava, baqlāwa, bāqlavā, or  pʼaḫlava? Even the spelling and pronunciation of this exotic dessert is as complexed as its history. Searching for the origins of baklava can really take a person on an interesting historical journey. The Armenians, the Arabs and surprisingly the Mongolians each have a translation for the word baklava. Following the history of baklava made me think that Middle Eastern, Greek and Turkish foods developed from the Assyrians. I was always curious to know the origins of these cuisines. There is one theory that says that, “the name “baklava” derives from the Armenian bakli … Continue reading History of Baklava

Saudi Arabia: From Agriculture to Fast Food

Introduction The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is a country well known for its oil fields and conservative, Islamic practices. However, I’m going to explore Saudi Arabia in a way that may give people a new perspective. I will explore the history , including the agricultural one but also, the modern issues of food security and obesity. After researching Saudi Arabia I felt it to be important to add a section on eating etiquette in the KSA because I find it to be unique. I will end the blog with a recipe of a traditional dish. Historical Background The Arabian … Continue reading Saudi Arabia: From Agriculture to Fast Food

A Short Introduction to Ethiopia’s Politics on Teff & Agriculture

Introduction  To start off this blog I will introduce Ethiopia and explain their very interesting and complex history. Later I will talk about how food and politics helped to create an identity especially today. Agriculture specifically the crop teff, is one of the most important contributors to Ethiopia’s economic growth . Later, I will explain Europe’s interest in teff and the abuse by the Netherlands and Saudi Arabia’s interest in land in Ethiopia. At the end of the blog I will post a recipe from Ethiopia. Ethiopia is located in East Africa bordering Djibouti, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda. … Continue reading A Short Introduction to Ethiopia’s Politics on Teff & Agriculture

The Former Soviet Union: How Food Became Political?

  Introduction When reading the news today one will find different stories about Russia and Putin but I want to introduce the culinary culture of the former Soviet Union (SU, USSR). While food shortages were very common in the USSR, I was often curious to know how people survived and what foods were common during this time? I was especially curious to see if survival played a role in the changing of ingredients . Another part I wanted to know is how the recipes changed during the Soviet times. An interesting topic that I discovered while doing this research is … Continue reading The Former Soviet Union: How Food Became Political?

Iran: Water Crisis, Food and Trade

Iran is a Shiite majority country in southwest Asia bordering seven countries which are; Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan,Iraq,Pakistan, Turkey and Turkmenistan. There are 31 provinces in Iran which vary drastically.  Iran is the second biggest country in the Middle East after Saudi Arabia and has a population of approximately 77 million people. (Heslot S., 2014) Iran is one of the few countries in the world that has managed to reduce hunger significantly. While oil is the main export item in Iran both pistachios and caviar are the most traded non-oil items. On the overall agriculture is unproductive due to outdated methods … Continue reading Iran: Water Crisis, Food and Trade

Food Crisis in Venezuela

Introduction To start this blog about Venezuela I will start by giving a brief historical timeline that will give a general background. It is important to mention that Venezuela is a significant oil producer which uses much of that revenue for food and social programs throughout the country. When oil prices are low the government lacks the financial ability to support food and social programs. In order to understand modern Venezuela there will be a short background on Hugo Chávez’ who was the leader for about fifteen years. By gaining a good understanding of Chávez’ government it will be easier … Continue reading Food Crisis in Venezuela

Food Struggles in Yemen

Yemen Yemen is located in Southern part of Arabia and boarders Saudi Arabia from the North and Omen to the East. Currently, there is an civil war that seems to never have an ending. In the past few weeks I’ve been thinking about the images of children starving that you often see on Aljazeera and grew curious about food security in Yemen . Not only did I learn about the issue of hunger and food issues in Yemen at the moment but I also learned a lot of interesting history. To begin I will provide a brief history and background … Continue reading Food Struggles in Yemen

How did Tunisia’s Arab Spring Influence Neighboring Algeria?

While Tunisia was having its Arab Spring in 2011 I was wondering what was going on in the neighboring countries such as Algeria. I feel like we don’t hear much about Algeria but it does have an interesting history. Algeria was one of the longest held territories of France until its independence in 1962. Before, gaining independence there was an eight year war between the local Muslim population and the French colonialists. The National Liberation Front (NLF) which was led by Ahmad Ben Bella, represented the local population and because they won the war the NLF established a one-party system. … Continue reading How did Tunisia’s Arab Spring Influence Neighboring Algeria?

The Impact of the Tunisian Revolution Today

Introduction On December 19, 2016 Anis Amri stole a truck and crashed it into a Christmas Market in Berlin, Germany. When I did my research and found that Amri was a Tunisian national I instantly thought to myself, why would someone do this? I started by researching Tunisia and its economic history. As a person who studied Anthropology of Food I couldn’t help but notice a connection between the rising prices of food and refugees in Germany from North Africa. This particular country profile will analyze the influences of the Arab Spring on January 4, 2011  and the current situation. … Continue reading The Impact of the Tunisian Revolution Today