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> The Tabun
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> Winter Traditions in Palestine
> Maklouba with eggplant
> Waraq Dawali
> Mahashi Recipe
> Juices, Pickles and Spirits
> Traditional Dishes in Palestine
> Meals and Foods
> Old Medical Recipes
> Welcome Coffee/Goodbye Coffee
> The Evolution of the Palestinian Kitchen
> The fig and grape seasons (mawasim al tazib):
> The Olive –Picking Season (mawsim al-zaytun):
> Harvest Time
The tabun - an oven used to bake bread - has been used by Palestinians for thousands of years. Most archaeological excavations in Palestine attest the use of tabuns both in private homes as well as public spaces in Palestinian villages.
The tabun is a small room built of rough stone that is covered with an arch or wood beams. Inside this tiny room is a small circular structure of yellow clay mixed with straw. Its base is approximately one metre in diameter and sixty centimetres high. The whole structure was usually built by women.
In addition to being a communal oven for baking bread and other food, the tabun was used as a gathering place for women of the neighbourhood. The aroma of freshly baked bread prepared in the tabun permeated the entire neighbourhood and served to let people know that the bread was almost ready and that the oven would soon be free for someone else to use.
In some cases, when a woman had an urgent need for baking facilities, even privately owned tabuns would be shared as a form of solidarity. The famous traditional dish, musakhan, has a completely different (and better!) taste and aroma when it is prepared in a tabun. For this reason, tabuns were very popular. Today, unfortunately, very few tabuns are still in use.
Text prepared by Riwaq Center for Architectural Conservation
This Week in Palestine