Syrian Cuisine and the Strange Names of its Dishes

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Syrians take pride in their cuisine among Arab countries as it is very rich and has not become a commercial and touristic exporte like the Moroccan or Lebanese cuisines, for example. It remained a hidden gem that you’ll only taste if you visit Syria or a Syrian home.

Syrians have dispersed because of the war and carried their cuisine with them to the countries of refuge.

Forget the dishes that first come to mind when thinking of Syrian cusine — Shawerma, Hummus, and Kubbeh. These are typical dishes and ones the Syrian kitchen shares with the rest of the Arab world.

We are talking about local dishes sung by the locals while many wonder whether they are really names of dishes or television competitions: Shish Barak, Al- Basha wa ‘Asakro, Ash Shakriyeh, Haraq Usaba’o, Sheikh al-Mahshi, Kishk al-Fuqara’, and others with strange names.

“These dishes cannot be older than the 17th century,” says Rita Barish, Syrian cuisine expert currently living in Berlin. She explains that in recent centuries, nutrition has turned into more of a luxury in terms of the ingredients with the development of factors that led to an increase in production and abundance, in addition to the world’s introduction to potatoes and tomatoes following the discovery of the two Americas, which changed the world’s cuisines.”


This is an excerpt of an article by Islam al-Kalhi. Read the full original Arabic article on Raseef 22.

Mudar, syrian refugee cooks Tabuleh with German president

Tabouleh Brings Syrian Refugees and Germans Together

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صاحب الـ31 ربيعاً، فاجأ “العربية.نت” بدايةً بعدم خبرته بفن الطبخ عند وصوله ألمانيا، لكنها كانت هواية تطورت بمشروع الاندماج الذي أسسته جمعية أوبر دين تيلراند كوخن، التي شارك فيها مضر وتسعى في أهدافها إلى تحقيق عملية اندماج طويلة الأمد عبر بناء مجتمع متعدد الثقافات، من خلال مشاريع متعددة بينها الطبخ، يشارك فيها كل فئات المجتمع، بحسب موقعها الرسمي: هذا ما حفزني لتطوير هوايتي في المطبخ السوري كان الهدف نشر الثقافة السورية واللقمة الطيبة بنفس الوقت، وبحمد الله حصلت على جائزة أفضل طباخ في برلين لعام 2015 أنا ومجموعتي

مضر أوضح أن فكرة المشروع التي بدأت من مشروع تخرج لأربعة طلاب ألمان تقوم على تقريب اللاجئين السوريين من الشعب الألماني من خلال الطبخ وتشارك المعرفة: بدأنا بتطوير فكرة المشروع لأن الطبخ رابط عالمي فالجميع يحب الأكل

Al was surprised to find out that the 31-year-old dud not have culinary experience before arriving in Germany. It was a hobby he developed when he participated in the integration project established by Tellerand Küchen, which aims to achieve long-term integration by building a multicultural society through a variety of projects, including cooking, open to everyone. According to its official website: “This is what motivated me to develop my hobby in cooking Syrian cuisine. My goal was to spread Syrian culture and good food at the same time and all praise be to Allah, my team and I received the 2015 Best Chef in Berlin Award.”

Mudar clarified that the project idea, which began as four German students’ graduation project,  aims to bring Syrian refugees closer to the German people through cooking and sharing knowledge: We started developing the project’s idea because cooking is a universal link; everyone loves food.”

Read Mohammad Al Hassan’s original Arabic article on Al