There were a couple of cultural festivals that featured music, dancing and of course FOOD over the weekend… One of them was back at Oaks Park for the 11th year. The idea of the Arab “Mahrajan” Festival is to give people a glimpse of life in Arab countries. LISTEN HERE:
Some of the food that most people would know are hummus and Falafels. Both are made from chickpeas, otherwise known as garbanzo beans. I hated those as a kid! The only way I’d ever had them were straight out of the can in salad. The texture was horrible and they didn’t have a lot of taste BUT if you blend them with olive oil, tahini, spices, salt, lemon, or garlic you get hummus which is delicious! you can use it with a dip for crackers, vegetables or pita bread. It’s even great as a condiment on sandwiches.
I sampled food from Cedar Halal Market in Beaverton: DELICIOUS!
Falafels are fried dough balls made of chickpeas, onions and spices. They’re good alone, or with a dip like tahini or hummus. They’re also delicious inside pita bread as a sandwich. Other really popular dishes are: Shawarma (which is grilled meat with spices on Pita bread). People love it, and the lines are usually pretty long where it’s being sold.
Then there’s desert: Baklava is very well known. It’s a layered pastry of Philo dough, honey or syrup, and pistachios. It’s not easy to make but OH so worth it!
There’s also Turkish Delight (if you watched or read the Lion Witch and the Wardrobe series you will have heard of that.) It’s a simple but addictive candy. One thing I’m super curious about is Lokma, which are small donuts served with toppings. At the festival they were offering choices of chocolate, Oreo, lotus, and pistachio. I wasn’t hungry enough to try them but luckily for me DOT SUGAR PDX invited me to stop by and try them at their location in Beaverton. I’ll do that, and report back later!