Food is central to our sense of identity and a rich source for the discovery of cultures and narratives. Following the international trend and increased demand for cooking and baking videos during the time of the pandemic, the Willy Brandt Center decided to produce a special series of culinary videos, mirroring the history and traditions of the region.
In an Easter Special from Jerusalem, Palestinian cultural manager and renowned cook Muna Khleifi introduced us to the specialty of Kaak and Ma’amoul, buttery Middle-Eastern cookies filled with dates and nuts that are popular throughout the Arab world. These Christian specialties are usually made together with family and friends, and symbolize the crown that was placed on Jesus during the crucifixion and the sponge that was squeezed over his face.
We also very much enjoyed visiting Abu Seir Patisserie in the Old City of Jerusalem, where we learned about different Ramadan sweets and witnessed the production of Jerusalem Truffles, as well as different variations of Quatyef, a Middle-Eastern dessert typical during the sacred month in Islamic culture.
The food and culture videos can be found on our YouTube channel. Try to produce these special treats at home, and discover fascinating stories about ingredients, spices and culinary traditions from Jerusalem and its surroundings!