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Food bridging Israeli, Palestinian divide

November 28th, 2013
05:02 PM ET

It's Thanksgiving in the U.S., and on this day of food indulgence it's hard not to notice the explosion of food and food culture around the world - not to mention the "celebrity chef."

Not only have Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi sold hundreds of thousands of copies of their new cookbook, "Jerusalem" - and wowed diners at their many restaurants - they bridge a political divide. Tamimi is Palestinian and Ottolenghi is Israeli.

Click above to watch Christiane Amanpour's interview with Tamimi and Ottolenghi.


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Latest Episode
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. H. B.

    People often DO use food as a bridge, but they also often make food a basis for passionate dissension. Who originated hummis, falafel, and baklava is often a point of heated arguments. But not just in the Middle East. Such heated arguments occur here, too, in Mexico, where I've lived 20 years, and in my homeland, the U.S.

    Guacamole is a world classic dish, and there are arguments about where it originated, but also there are purists who claim THEIR way of making it is the only legitimate one. I've also noticed that there seems to be a general trend in Mexico to avoid "foreign" (unfamiliar) foods. While it's true that Mexican food is usually incredibly delicious, it's STILL not the only food this world has to offer that is delicious. I tried taking a Mexican lady out to dinner at an oriental restaurant. She ate it without comment, but it was clear to me she didn't want it. She ate it with what my grandma used to call "long teeth." Yet it was incredibly delicious! Americans tend to be much more adventurous about what they'll eat, and I can't begin to guess at why these things are so.

    As the top species, due entirely to our intelligence, we seem to ignore what should be our most precious attribute, and often even take pride in being ignorant.

    |Many religions define what foods may or may not be eaten. In my atheistic world-view, anything that isn't actually toxic is a fair candidate for my palate. I count myself fortunate that I wasn't born into a belief system that would tell me not to eat pork or lobster, since I love them both. I feel sorry for those who let a belief system keep them away from some of the Earth's most delicious foods. But not sorry enough to feel any sympathy or respect for those belief systems themselves.

    My biggest regret regarding food is that nobody has time enough in one lifetime to try ALL possible recipes. Sigh.

    November 30, 2013 at 5:44 pm | Reply
  2. H. B.

    This is religious SPAM. It has no place here. It is 100% off-topic.

    November 30, 2013 at 5:46 pm | Reply
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    More religious SPAM. CNN, why don't you enforce your rule about off-topic comments?

    November 30, 2013 at 5:46 pm | Reply
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    Universally, food is what brings people together. It is the ice-breaker, the moderator, the "excuse" to bring us together. The more I meet humans of different ethnicities, the more I realize how very similar we all are. I just love these guys and their food of course. They are wonderful ambassadors.

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