A wonderful post about the history of Libyan food – a culture that is mislabeled and underappreciated! Well done Sarah.
Through my endless readings and observations in Libyan Food Culture since first starting the We Are Food project in 2009, I find myself grouping Libyan recipes into three major categories, Hand – Spoon – Fork, or food which would require one of these three as the main eating utensil.
From the very humble diet of the indigenous Berbers, prepared and eaten by hand, Libyan cooking evolved as a result of two benchmark changes in its history: the introduction of the spoon by the Ottoman Turks and later the fork by the colonial Italians. These eating utensils mirror a major change in the types of food cooked and eaten by Libyans today. Who would have thought that something as simple as a spoon and fork would forever change the way a nation eats!
Vintage colorized photo of Libyan girls cooking outdoors using the traditional methods of the indigenous Berbers. (Image date and source…
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