About me and this blog:
My name is Sarah Melamed and I have been living in Israel since the early 1990’s. I studied plant biology and am currently employed as a research assistant in the field of molecular genetics. When I’m not in the lab, I love to explore outdoor markets of the region, go street food hopping and experiment with new recipes (the last, not always to my family’s delight). I’m also a big fan of edible wild plants and over the years I’ve learnt how to incorporate these tasty weeds into my cooking.
Living in Israel has introduced me to food cultures from around the world and triggered my interest in food history especially that of the Middle East and the Mediterranean. Most of all, food is an indispensable part of each person’s identity, be it national or religious and I see it a as a bridge, connecting people together around a single table.
I am well aware that simply writing about Middle Eastern food, especially from Israel can be a sensitive subject. I have plenty of political opinions but try to keep them out of my blog because there is enough of that in this world; my goal is to illustrate the connections between cultures and people and to create an island of understanding. With that and my husband’s relentless editing of my lively language (“You can’t write that!”) I hope this blog will still be interesting to read.
Questions and Answers
How can I contact you:
sarah.melamed at Gmail dot com
I can also be found:
Who takes the pictures on your site?
Except where otherwise stated, I take the food pictures on this site. Some of the hiking and people pictures may have been taken by other members of my immediate family. For more information please see my post on food photography.
Can I use a picture from your blog?
Please don’t use any pictures without first asking for permission. It’s not nice.
How can I find a specific recipe on your site?
There is a search box which can be used. If you still have problems you can leave a comment here.
Are your recipes Kosher (or halal)?
My recipes are kosher, although I write about and eat all varieties of foods. Some of the recipes use wine which would not qualify them as halal.
PR representatives, publishers and disclosures:
I do not do giveaways or accept sponsored posts. I have occasionally reviewed cookbooks that are relevant to the content of this blog.
I am currently part of the Blogher ad network and their ads are in the sidebar. I also use Amazon affiliate links, mainly books and photography products I recommend. They are located in the sidebars and in text links. If an item is purchased on Amazon it will help offset the maintenance cost of this site. I appreciate the support.
When I am a guest at a restaurant or food tour this will be disclosed in my posts.
About this blog:
I used Blogger when I first started blogging but quickly moved to WordPress. I currently use the Thesis theme and am hosted on Bluehost. Barbara Kiebel, a web developer and food blogger, has helped me with the technical aspects of this blog and I highly recommend her.
Where do you get your recipes from?
I get my recipes from many sources such as the internet, books, TV and most importantly the people who are part of my life. One of the reasons I started this blog was to preserve my family’s culinary heritage, especially that of my grandmother Zarifa who is a great inspiration to me both in the kitchen and in life and who I call whenever I have a question about Kurdish cooking. I obtain recipes from the women waiting on line at the butchers, from taxi drivers who are always happy for a conversation and neighbors who pop in for coffee. Israeli’s are a gregarious bunch and they are almost always happy to share a recipe and talk about food (except for owners of falafel stands).
I try to collect as many versions of a recipe as I can to create a picture of its evolution from one area to the next. The cuisine throughout the Middle East and the Mediterranean is interconnected by thousands of recipes and store a tremendous amount of history and culture within them. I also highly value when my readers share their family recipes and preferences on this blog.
I try to find the most conserved and authentic recipes and make note of regional variations. I occasionally add my own recipes, usually inspired by the aromas of the Middle East but not limited to this area.
I am currently also working as a freelance writer, if you are interested please contact me at sarah.melamed at gmail dot com.