About

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.

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jerusalem hills

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:

Twitter: Foodbridge

Facebook page

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.

On the Web

The Jew and the Carrot

The Jerusalem Post

Tastespotting

Top Ten Jewish Food Blogs

An addict’s guide to Israeli food blogs

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Ilana-Davita June 7, 2009 at 11:38 pm

Great blog. I was told about it by Kosher Camembert. I post about food too but my blog is not only devoted to eating.

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Noura Skakri July 6, 2009 at 5:56 am

Hello, nice site & blog. I look forward to reading more. I follow you on twitter and have tried to send you some info in answer to some of your questions, but I can’t b/c you don’t follow me too. I’ve sent them as replies to your posts also, but I don’t know if you see them. Anyhow, if you’d like to add me on twitter, I’m NouraSkakri.
Also, my blog site is listed in my info here. Thanks!
BTW, I’m an American married to a Moroccan living in USA. I cook a lot of Moroccan food as well as Turkish and just anything that sounds tasty, fresh, & healthy!

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Mimi September 8, 2009 at 11:46 am

Lovely site, exciting to “meet” you! And your photos are beautiful. Please look for a link on my blogroll.

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Drick September 28, 2009 at 5:28 am

Here is one from my cookbook – it should do the trick.

Taco Seasoning
2 teaspoons instant minced onions
1/2 teaspoon crushed red peppers
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

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Margit October 6, 2009 at 2:49 am

I love this post – I think so often bloggers come up with interesting content (as you do Sarah!) but somehow neglect the fact that the reader is also curious about the person writing. One doesn’t have to give away the family’s secrets :) but it’s nice to know be allowed a tiny glimpse into the blogger’s (hi)story. So great stuff, very very good!

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Yaelian November 26, 2009 at 12:53 pm

Lovely blog;found it only today through Mimi¨s blog.Your pictures are beautiful!

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yael December 4, 2009 at 12:03 am

Hi Sarah! I ‘ve been blogging for over a year now ,but am just starting to find Israeli food bloggers. I’ve enjoyed reading your posts and will continue to do so. I’d love to participate in one of the blogger get-togethers. I’ll be away for the next one at the end of December but will keep my eyes open for the one after that.

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tasteofbeirut January 10, 2010 at 7:36 pm

Hi Sarah
I just found your comment going way back and thought I would let you know about my food products give away from lebanon in case you’re interested.

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Karen from Globetrotter Diaries November 2, 2010 at 11:51 am

I love your approach to food! That’s very much what interests me and global cuisine. Your blog is really beautiful, and hopefully I can make something from one of your recipes soon!!

- Karen

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Sarah November 2, 2010 at 11:56 am

thank you, always happy to meet fellow foodies and multiculturalists

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Kulsum at JourneyKitchen April 7, 2011 at 12:05 am

I just found your blog and totally loving it!

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Sarah April 7, 2011 at 12:46 am

thank you so much!

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Suzy June 26, 2011 at 12:33 pm

I read alot of food articles and blogs…but yours is what I would say is one of the best yet. Your photography is just incredible and each post tells a story. I can’t tell you what a inspiration you are! Your recipes!!! I come to Israel at least once a year and you have me soooo yearning to be back. Thank you for creative mind and spirit…please continue!!

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Sarah June 26, 2011 at 12:40 pm

Suzy, Thank you so much for your kind words, it means alot to me. Sarah

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marcia August 28, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Hi Sarah ..i have just started a 2nd blog, http://www.inseasonisrael.blogspot.com. (this one about food and Israel..the first one http://www.fromthehillsofjerusalem.blogspot.com is just about life in Israel. My first post is about the sabra (prickly pear) and i discovered your 2009 post and story about the sabra. It was particularly timely that i found your story as you will see and I referenced it in my post as well as your food blog…but i want to ask your permission about something else regarding that post. Can you email me please so that we can discuss it? I really love your website…and will show it as one i will follow..when i get the blog totally up and running. I see you love to tell a story like i love to tell stories. Look forward to hearing from you. (you don’t need to post this comment unless you want to…basically i am just trying to get in touch with you.)

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Mary October 12, 2011 at 2:57 pm

Hello,
I am wondering if I may use your photo of blueberries in a class book my students and I are making. We would be happy to credit the photo to you.
Please advise as soon as possible.
Thank you,
Mary

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laura November 26, 2011 at 5:42 am

Hi, great blog and site. Just discovered you by accident, and your recipes look great. Already printed some out. I have been looking for interesting meatballs recipes – not heavy on the tomato sauce ( which I often prepare) for my daughter who has reflux and you have a great selection.
YOur pictures are lovely and your blog is joy to read.
Kol Ha Kavod. Laura

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Rob Davidson (The Epicure in Light) December 4, 2011 at 8:08 am

Hi Sarah,
So glad to hear you enjoyed my blog (http://epicureinlight.com/)
I like your blog as well, especially your belief that food can be a bridge between cultures. My favorite part of living in the world’s most ethnically diverse city is the vast array of cuisines to choose from. Every night of the week I can venture out and sample authentic foods from virtually any corner of the world…. such fun!
Cheers,
Rob

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Tandy June 4, 2012 at 12:17 am

I was sent over here by a friend and it is great to ‘meet’ you :)

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Sarah June 4, 2012 at 3:28 am

Nice to meet you too!

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Yvonne June 16, 2012 at 8:16 pm

Hello Sarah, I was searching for Kurdish recipes and am so happy to have found your site. Can’t wait to try out many of the wonderful, healthy recipes you’ve posted.

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Sarah June 16, 2012 at 9:05 pm

Thanks Yvonne! Kurdish cooking is amazing and I still have so much to try. Joumana of the Taste of Beirut also features Kurdish recipes in her blog. -Sarah

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Dunna July 11, 2012 at 8:57 am

Hi Sarah,
I love your site, so many ideas for so many meals.
I am married so someone who is sort of opposite to you, he is an Israeli living in America. Do you have the recipe for sabeach, its the only meal that we looked for and could not find on your site. Also, a condiment that is widely available in Israel that is composed of eggplant and peppers in some kind of sauce of varying spiciness. We miss the pickles and the olives and the fresh olive oil, there are a lot of things thankfully that we do not miss.
Keep up the good work.

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Sarah July 11, 2012 at 9:28 pm

Thanks! I do have a sabich recipe (my spelling). Enjoy http://www.sarahmelamed.com/2012/01/sabich-enough-with-the-latkes-already-or-happy-belated-hannukah/ and interesting ideas for toppings in the photographs

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Suzy September 30, 2012 at 6:47 am

Here is the recipe I was referring to:

New Oatmeal Breakfast or Treat

One serving:

1/2 cup of old fashioned oatmeal, not cooked
2 to 3 chopped dates or raisins
almond or coconut milk, probably at least 1/2 cup.
wheat germ or brewers yeast

Mix together night before or 5 hours before and cover. DO NOT COOK- Then eat…some people are using Yogurt and some will use these two types of milk, even a soy based milk. I have also date syrup to this for added sweetness.

I have it at least a few morning a week and have really enjoyed it…plus there is not mess in cooking the oatmeal…

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Sarah October 8, 2012 at 9:50 pm

Suzy, Thank you so much for writing the recipe down for me. Love any snack I don’t have to cook.

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Stacey Dukes January 12, 2013 at 11:59 am

Hi there, just came across you blog while googling Ramla the city where I intend to stay for 5 months and voluteer later on this year through masa! Looks like a great place to go and I am SO excited to be in Israel :)

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Sarah January 12, 2013 at 12:05 pm

Stacey, Enjoy your stay in Israel. I was in Ramle today and met a volunteer (perhapas masa?) at Samir Restaurant (right opposite Halil’s, the best hummus place in town). You are going to have a wonderful time

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