- urn /urn/
- modification /mod-uh-fi-KEY-shuhn/
- diaspora /dahy-AS-per-uh/
- imitate /IM-i-teyt/
- transcend /tran-SEND/
[noun] – a large, cylinder-shaped metal container with a lid, used for holding a large amount of a drink such as tea or coffee and keeping it hot
This Victorian tea urn costs about £170.
[noun] – a change to something, usually to improve it
Only a few little modifications were necessary.
[noun] – a group of people who spread from one original country to other countries, or the act of spreading in this way
The Latin diaspora accounts for over two-fifths of all foreign inhabitants in Spain, primarily from Ecuador and Colombia.
[verb] – to behave in a similar way to someone or something else, or to copy the speech or behavior, etc. of someone or something
James can imitate his teacher’s manner of speech almost perfectly.
[verb] – to go further, rise above, or be more important or better than something, especially a limit
Her songs transcend words and dialects.
Sahlab is more than just the festive winter beverage Blanche Shaheen learned to prepare from her mother, according to the cookbook author. Additionally, it is a tale about family and the enduring power of culture. Sahlab, a winter beverage similar to a latte made from a thick and rich mixture of milk, sugar, and spices, is closely associated with Christmas for Palestinian Christians. Shaheen maintains this custom with a few modifications. Sahlab powder, a flour produced from wild-harvested orchid tubers, was used to make the version her mother drank as a child in the Bethlehem streets. Since the powder has been used as a thickener in drinks and sweets since the Ottoman era, it is prohibited to export and unsustainable to make since it depends on orchids, which are currently in danger of going extinct. Like many Palestinians in the diaspora, Shaheen uses a more accessible mixture of corn starch (corn flour) and either rose water or orange blossom water to imitate the texture and flavor of sahlab powder.
Shaheen believes that sahlab represents Christmas in Bethlehem, where a large portion of her mother’s family still dwells. In Bethlehem, sahlab stands for an inclusive atmosphere of festivity that transcends beliefs. “It’s really beautiful to see everyone get together to celebrate and respect each other’s traditions. And sahlab is part of that tradition.”
- What is your favorite traditional food? Please tell me more about it.
- How do you think food, eating, and drinking cultures have changed in your country?
- Would you try Sahlab and recommend it to your friends? Why or why not?
- In your opinion, should Sahlab also be eaten on New Year’s Eve?
- Why is it important to preserve culture through food?