The appeal of traditional Middle Eastern cuisine faces stiff competition

Food and cuisine are so deeply embedded in Middle Eastern culture and history that recipes have survived for centuries. It is an art form. And yet, more recently, food in the region, like many parts of the world, has been characterized by scarcity, traceability, cost, composition and the latest trends.

Once an institution and the mainstay of the family home, is the kitchen losing its place in our lives? This question has become particularly pertinent in a region where cuisine was revered in a bygone age, inspiring poetry and song. Now, increasingly profitable fast food delivered to the door is turning people away from the traditions of home cooking.

The Arab world’s love affair with well-prepared traditional dishes is captured in poems, such as those by the 9th-century Abbasid prince Ibrahim ibn al-Mahdi, the half-brother of Caliph Harun al-Rashid, who was immortalized in the arabian nights stories.

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