13 Delicacies That Aren’t Israeli

Cultural appropriation is at least inappropriate. Israel has colonized Palestinian indigenous land and displaced and dispossessed Palestinians. Now it is claiming Palestinian traditions as its own. After claiming 13 Middle Eastern foods as Israeli, a buzzfeed article claimed that ‘in Israel hummus flows almost as freely as water’… unfortunately, Israel has ensured that water doesn’t flow freely to Palestinians, now they’re appropriating food too! Many of the dishes that Israelis claim as their own are from the Mediterranean region common to all Arabs as well as Turks, Greeks, Cypriots, Armenians, and Persians. Everyone should enjoy the food the world has to offer, just don’t colonize and appropriate it.

1. Hummus

Is indeed a precious gift…thanks to the Arabs of the regions that created it.
Hummus is an Arabic word (حمّص ḥummuṣ) meaning “chickpeas”.

2. Shakshouka

Shakshouka means “a mixture” in Arabic slang. It is a staple of Tunisian, Libyan, Algerian, Moroccan, and Egyptian cuisines.

3. Halumi Cheese

Halumi is most popular in Cyprus, however the word “halumi” stems from the Coptic word for cheese, “halum”, and it is believed to have been eaten in ancient Egypt.

4. Cactus Fruit

Mexico is the largest producer of Opuntia but it also grows in the North Africa and Mediterranean regions.

5. Falafel

Falafel comes from the Arabic word falāfil (فلافل), the plural of filfil (فلفل),
It is an amazing vegan food devoured by all humans but remains indigenous Arabic food!

6. Couscous

A traditional Berber dish. Kouscous is known as ‘the North Africa national dish’ shared by Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Mauritania, Egypt and Libya.
First reference to Kuskus was in the 13th-century North African Cookbook: Kitāb al-tabǐkh fǐ al-Maghrib wa’l-Andalus “The cookbook of the Maghreb and Al-Andalus”.
In the levant, a version of kouscous is called Maftool among Palestinians or Mughrabiyah among Lebanese.

7. Bourekas

Bourekas is the ladino word for Turkish Borek.
Börek has its origins in the Turkish cuisine (cf. Baklava) and is one of its most significant and ancient elements of the Turkish cuisine.

8. Shawarma

Originally Turkish, Shawerma has become a staple of all Arab countries as well. It is made of chicken, lamb, or beef that is heated and cut from a rotating spit.
It is usually eaten with tabbouleh, fattoush, taboon, tahini, hummus, and pickled vegetables.
It is also similar to Turkish Doner Kebab, Greek Gyros, and Armenian Tarna.

9. Labneh

Labneh is strained yogurt.
It is a traditional food in the Levant, Eastern Mediterranean, Near East, and South Asia, where it is often used in cooking.
Labneh is a popular mezze dish and sandwich ingredient and is usually eaten with olive oil and sometimes zaatar.

10. Kibbeh

The etymology of the Arabic word kubbeh refers to “ball” or “lump”. It is a Levantine dish made of burghul (cracked wheat), minced onions and finely ground lean meat.
It can be made into balls and deep fried, eaten raw, or spread into a tray. It is often eaten with yogurt (laban).

11. Shish Taouk

The dish originates from the Middle East, namely Lebanese and Syrian cuisine.
It consists of cubes of chicken that are marinated, then skewered and grilled.
Beef and lamb can also be cooked on skewers in a similar way.

12. Baba Ghanoush

Baba Ghanoush بابا غنوج is a Levantine dish of eggplant (aubergine) mashed and mixed with olive oil and various seasonings.
The Arabic term could be a reference to its supposed invention by a member of a royal harem.

13. Chocolate-coated cream treats

What Israelis call Krembo was previously known across the region as Ras El Abed.
The treat was popular as a homemade sweet that was usually eaten in the winter and spring instead of ice-cream. It was homemade and in manufacturing production (by lebanese company Ghandour) across the Middle East and long before Israeli manufacturers remade a version that they called Krembo.

14. More Information:

Most of the written information in this article came from Wikipedia and common knowledge.

There are many more Mediterranean and Arab foods but this is a reply to a previous buzzfeed article ‘19 Israeli Delicacies That Aren’t Hummus’ that claimed that these foods are Israeli.

There is much to learn about Israel’s land theft and cultural appropriation, but perhaps you can start with these articles:
On uprooting Palestinian olive trees visit the Electronic Intifada to access an article titled: Heritage Uprooted


and for information on water, visit Haaretz to access an article titled: The Israeli ‘watergate’ scandal: The facts about Palestinian water


Check out more articles on BuzzFeed.com!

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