Friday, October 31, 2008

Mqiqa

"On the occasion of my visit with my carob gift, Juma’a waxed nostalgic about “the good old days before the Zionists raped the wilderness with their settlements, barbed-wire fences, and cypress forests.” About his preference for the unripe carob he went on to explain: “The way we used to savor the early sweetness of the carob was to pick a few pods just as their green color faded into brown. The mountains were full of wild carob and we would be desperate for something sweet. Those were not days of toffee and chocolate and we would be hungry by the end of the long summer day. Early in the morning we would pick few unripe but sweet carobs and pound them with a clean stone on the rocks. We would put them in a container and milk a goat directly over the pulp, hide it in the shade of a bush, come back in the late afternoon tired and hungry, strain the milk with the corner of our shouras (gauzelike white head covers) and drink it with a piece of bread. You guys fret over your milk and cornflakes for breakfast. But you can’t imagine the taste of mqiqa with a piece of dry bread to the palate of a hungry shepherd.”"

Beautiful, moving account by Hatem Kanaaneh, writing for the Palestinian Chronicle.

My student Jeanne introduced me to mqiqa last year. She is from a small village in the Shuf mountains and her uncle told her about it. They still ate regularly it until they were displaced from the Shuf in 1983.

2 comments:

Leila said...

Thank you for posting this link. I need to read Palestine Chronicle regularly (and contribute).

troro - the artists behind said...

Thank you for reminding me of Mqiqa. It was my mother's favorite dessert and she did it whenever it was possible to get Karroub.
You are doing a great job !!!