One of the reasons that I wanted to write this blog, is because I believe there is a lack of information (at least in English) about Libyan cooking. I observed this same phenomenon when I was traveling in Turkey in my twenties; because so much of the culinary tradition in this part of the world is passed on orally, there is often a scarcity of written recipes. That’s my theory at least; one that is purely anecdotal. It’s not for lack of people knowing how to cook. Most of the women, and yes, even some men, I know from Libyan culture, can whip up at least a half a dozen traditional recipes. But getting it on the page is another story.
How to find Libyan resources?
Which has left me with the question: where to turn when learning how to cook Libyan? As with any heritage, food is culture. More than just recipes, food connects us to the land, to traditions, and to family.
What I’ve found so far.
Certainly, family members are going to be my greatest resource with this project. Using this project to be connected to my Libyan family was all part of the motivation and fun for this blog. However, I only get to see them about once a year, so I’ve got a lot of time on my hands in the meantime to do my reading. Here are a few resources I will share with you. Please let me know if you have any suggestions to aid me on my way.
We Are Food: https://foodlibya.wordpress.com/
I just found this blog today and I am freaking out over my good fortune. Started by a woman who is Libyan American, Sarah has set out to chronicle recipes, culture, and stories around Libyan food. She’s done an amazing job, and the website is beautiful and easy to access. Though I’m still waiting to hear back from her, the culminating project was supposed to be a book. Yay!
Libyan Food: https://libyanfood.blogspot.com/
A comprehensive website that has archived modern Libyan recipes through accompanying photos, this is a by-the-book sort of go-to. Most recipes have the name listed in both English and Arabic, though the site is in English. Excellent for some of the more technical aspects of Libyan cooking.
The Libyan Kitchen: https://thelibyankitchen.blogspot.com/
The Libyan Kitchen is written by a woman who is living in the West, trying to capture some of the Libyan recipes. She has a nice human voice to the website, and sets out to get down some of those evasive measurements.
Libyan Kitchen: https://libyankitchen.wordpress.com/
I just found this blog after posting, but thought I would republish and add it on. This is a great resource of modern Libyan cooking, including special Ramadan recipes, main dishes, and desserts. I look forward to digesting this site more ;).
The Most Delicious Libyan Recipes by Chef Khalid Qsuda: https://www.amazon.com/Delicious-Libyan-Recipes-Step-Step/dp/1512330280/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=
You can buy this book on Amazon for about 10 USD, or get a EKindle version for about 3 USD. I haven’t bought this book yet, but think I should. It’s also the only cookbook specific to just Libya I’ve found. The rest are a mix of North African or Maghreb cooking. The book covers ten essential Libyan recipes; enough to whet your palate, but not cover the whole spectrum of cooking.
Please share your resources!
I need all the help I can get. Please let me know if you have any additional resources (besides your grandmother!) to add.