A Note About Discussing Middle Eastern Food on Serious Eats

Hi everyone,

In recent articles about Israeli and Palestinian food, both in the U.S. and in Israel, we've received some comments and criticisms about our labeling of specific dishes and cuisines as coming from one part of the Middle East or the other. At Serious Eats we try to stay out of these politics as much as we can; our primary goal is to convey information about food that's accurate and easy to understand.

Things get more complicated since there's "Israeli cuisine," which is one topic, and "food you'll find in Israel that is recognizably of the region," which is another. The former is a cultural question; the latter is a geographic one.

We'd like a way to talk about this food in a way that's honest, but also coherent. If an Israeli chef gives us a guide to Israeli food and ingredients in New York City, and wants to include an Arab dish in her listings that is often found in Israel, we'd still like to include it as valuable information, much the same as we'd like to include an American chef's pick of a Chinese-influenced dish that still could be included in the American culinary lexicon. That said, we haven't been as careful as we should have been in the past in some cases, and we're sorry if a post was unintentionally offensive. We'll start making all the efforts we can to be as accurate as possible about questions like this in future stories.

Per our comment policy, comments not relevant to food discussion (i.e. those that are overtly political) may be removed, but we still welcome any thoughts, questions, and criticisms on the subject you may have. You all help us stay on our toes and keep us honest, and we really appreciate that.

The Serious Eats Team


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