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Gypsies in Jerusalem: food

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 01.12.2009:

From the new Domari website

The food native to the Dom of Jerusalem is a combination of the foods their ancestors ate, and the food of their Arabic hostland.

Food takes the lead in community celebrations, such as weddings and circumcisions and life cycle events, such as funerals. Main dishes usually consist of chicken or lamb, and rice. For weddings, no matter how hard times are financially, at least two main dishes are prepared. For circumcision parties, a stuffed neck of sheep is always made.

Salads and sidedishes are meticulously laid out, so that they look as aesthetically pleasing as they taste.

Stuffed vegetables, such as artichokes or grape leaves, are popular. One special side dish is kishk, a special type of bulgur fermented with milk and yogurt, and then salted. When kishk is made at home, it can take up to two weeks to produce!

Gypsies drink a lot of tea. Traditionally, plain tea is brewed with dried sage leaves, and then at least two full teaspoons of sugar are added. Tea steeped with cinnamon and walnuts (and much sugar) is also traditional.

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