Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Test the taste buds in Kurdistan

To the greatest blog readers in the planet^

Baxerben! Sar sar o sar chaw for another entry!!
I'm going through an emotional turmoil so I resort to the blog to let out that frustration**
In my corner of the world a lot is going on. Of all the things that I can write about I decided to blog about FOOD!! Since I looked through this week's pictures taken by my phone the commonly appearing theme next to advertising was FOOD!  
On a social level, the exams are underway and surprise surprise no one is just outside the house and calling you to say: in 5 minutes we'll be at your house for a chay ! You also don't dare go to anyone's house, people are studying. So what do you do? Family Mall and Majidi Mall are bombarding with text message of their DASHKANDEN [SALE]! (Doesn't every girl adore that word?!) so good luck with trying to find parking there on a Thursday or Friday evening, because you won't find a single tiny space—even if you go on your bike.
Family Mall last Friday
The weather is getting warm. Life for me is a roller coaster and things aren't going as planned. But the wonderful life here and the vibrant culture is keeping me optimistic.
Here is how the Spring season goes in Kurdistan: Most of the month is about food. But not the typical food that you may eat everyday! 

The above is Rewas, this you must try with a little bit of salt and you just peel and eat. It tastes great, and comes right from the mountains. Fresh. No presevatives. No nothing. It is only sold during this time of year.

A man selling Rewas on the way to Shaqlawa
Another natural plant on the mountain top-- pick and eat-- help yourself. If my notes are correct, this is chaw bazala

My village friend shows me Chwala--  picked from the tree-- and into your mouth directly
The picture below is also one taken at work. One of my colleagues (a very kind colleague, I must add) almost always brings in treats. So I tend to indulge in the melting of Kulicha in my mouth with sweet chay as I am writing reports on FGM, women's empowerment and planning life skill workshops for youth! I can just taste it, as I am looking at the picture. What is great about Kulicha is that it can suit everybody's taste buds, but I recommend the dates.  
Kulicha and chay
And this, my dear reader is the favourite of all. Oily bread with sugar. Yum Yum Yum!! The Hawleries do it best. The mother of the director of our organization is sweet enough to send some everynow and then. No forks or knives, I am there with my hands inside tearing it away 
Nana-ba-ron (bread 'n oil)
I know the ingreadients don't seem very appetizing, but believe me this is something that must be tried.
First you tear it, then you eat it.
 Then there is my good old friend- Falafl!! I have saved the best to the end. Here is the deal, Falafl should never be eaten in any of the high end restaurants or fast food shops. The best falafl is that you get near the citadel, where the man has sweat at the tip of his nose. Where he uses his hands to put the onion and tomatoe in the bread (but he does add the pickles with a spoon) and where there is no gloves or forks (eeew?-- well no, not really) because this guy makes probably 1 000 sandwhiches a day, and he has probably been doing it for a good 10 years as well. So, it tastes great, and I am still alive.

Fresh Fruit... let's guess from Iran, Turkey and the apples from the U.S.? Maybe

Galamew-- for the perrrrefect Yapragh
As for the above pictures. Let's be honest. As Kurds we really don't care about five vegies and three fruits. There is no big issue on being on a diet (but I must point out here, most people who say they're are on a diet normally say it after they have Qozi for dinner and Baqlawa for dessert). Having said this, we love our Gndora (or I like to call it Kalak, AKA: rockmelon) and shooti (watermelon) especially if it is bought ba sharti shaqo-- you are allowed to break the watermelon right there and then. This way, you are you you're getting what you're looking for! 

^ This week I realized I have a young women following me all the way from India, an Indian with  passion for Kurdish culture! So Miss S.H. this entry is dedicated to you.
*the name shall remain anonymous, since I don't want to advertise for anyone!
**Ministry of Higher Education can really solve this matter right now.
All picture staken by me for the sake of this blog only