Common Sense

Appears in
The Gaza Kitchen: A Palestinian Culinary Journey

By Laila El-Haddad and Maggie Schmitt

Published 2021

  • About
Rarely will you come across a cuisine that gives more importance to cleanliness. Arab cooks in general are very fastidious about the freshness and purity of ingredients—so much so that even in medieval times, the hallmark of a good cook was the gleaming cleanliness of his pots and pans. One of the secrets to the bright, vivid tastes of Gazan cuisine may be the scrupulousness with which meat and vegetables are washed, scrubbed, and purged of any grimy or gamey tastes. This is an accomplishment anywhere, but more so in the sweltering heat of a place where the electricity is cut more than eight hours a day and the coldness of refrigerators and freezers must be carefully preserved.