In the part of the world we are dealing with everybody wants to own everything. Existence feels so uncertain and so fragile that people fight fiercely and with great passion to hold on to things: land, culture, religious symbols, food – everything is in danger of being snatched away or of disappearing. The result is fiery arguments about provenance, about who and what came first.
As we have seen through our investigations, and will become blatantly apparent to anyone reading and cooking from this book, these arguments are futile.
… they are futile because it doesn’t really matter. Looking back in time or far afield into distant lands is simply distracting. The beauty of food and of eating is that they are rooted in the now. Food is a basic, hedonistic pleasure, a sensual instinct we all share and revel in. It is a shame to spoil it.
– Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, in their introduction to Jerusalem (2012)
And from the excellent tv special Jerusalem on a Plate: