Whether you’re educating yourself on popular dishes before heading out to your favorite Middle Eastern restaurant, or preparing a Lebanese-inspired feast for family and friends at home, these blogs are sure to get your stomach growling and your mouth watering. Though the internet is populated with hundreds – if not thousands – of blogs specializing in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern foods, we believe the following best capture the essence of the Middle Eastern-foodie culture:
Taste of Beirut. Blog of longtime photographer and recipe-developer Joumana Accad, Taste of Beirut has hundreds of authentic Lebanese recipes paired with beautifully-detailed foodie-inspired photography. The blog itself is simply constructed and easy to navigate; selections are divided into four categories – salads, salty, sweets, drinks – and each dish is conveniently labeled with difficulty levels and preparation times. To lend authority to Accad’s culinary prowess, Taste of Beirut‘s recipes also appear in a cookbook published under the same name, and she has recently launched a well-produced cooking blogisode on her website.
Dirty Kitchen Secrets. Though the name may sound scandalous, Dirty Kitchen Secrets is a perfect blogging experience for the entire family, from easily-distracted children to computer-illiterate grandparents. One of the best-curated blogs on the internet – foodie or otherwise – DKS is the passion-publication of Bethany Kehdy, a Texas-born Lebanese-American with a background in the culinary arts and ten lifetimes’ worth of cultural experience to back up her plethora of phenomenal Lebanese-inspired recipes. Not only has Kehdy’s book, Pomegranates & Pine Nuts, quickly become a best-seller among traditional Lebanese and Persian recipe books, but her work has also been featured in nationally-distributed magazines Conde Nast Traveller: Food & Travel Magazine, Bon Appetit, and Delicious Magazine, and on shows like the BBC’s Good Food Middle East, Fatafeat, and Athens News.
midEATS. Founded by Egyptian-Americans Brenda Abdelall and Hebah Saleh who created the site “not only to teach the world how to cook Middle Eastern food, but more importantly, to show others how to enjoy the cooking process,” midEATS is chock-full of delightful stories about Middle Eastern culture, articles on Arabic traditions and ingredients, and allergy-free adaptations of age-old Middle Eastern classics. Visitors to the site will find navigating the well-organized the A-Z recipe list a breeze, and the blog’s News section offers interesting tidbits on how Middle Eastern food relates to the international community.
Anissa Helou. Though less a recipe blog and more a dynamic overview of Middle Eastern culture, no best-of-list of Middle Eastern blogs would be complete without including the endlessly fascinating Anissa Helou. WIth a handful of books on Middle Eastern cuisine and culture in print and regular appearances on English, Arabic, and French radio and television programs – Helou is fluent in all three languages – it’s not difficult to see why Arabian Business magazine named her one of the “100 Most Powerful Arab Women” in 2013. Foodies looking for an endless supply of recipes might balk at her website’s meager selection, but we guarantee that reading through her blog’s well-crafted stories will not be time ill-spent.
Tumeric and Saffron. Curated by first-generation Iranian immigrant Azita, Tumeric and Saffron is a charming blog brimming over with passionate authenticity. Not one to devote much effort to design or aesthetics, Azita nonetheless wins over visitors with her endearing personal anecdotes conveyed in slightly-broken English; patrons of the site will actually feel like they’ve stumbled into a Middle Easterners kitchen, and what the website lacks in beauty it makes up for in heart. Apparently, we aren’t the only ones that didn’t mind the blog’s clumsy layout; Tumeric and Saffron has appeared in The Guardian, Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, Pop Sugar, The Smithsonian, and also on NPR. And if all this wasn’t reason enough to adore her, Azita’s entire blog is dedicated to her mother, who passed away in 2008.