For those of you who don’t speak Arabic, Yalla means Let’s Go. A new idea sprung up in Detroit where food tours are provided by the Arab American National Museum. You can join a tour and explore Arabic food like you have never tasted before. If you have never experienced Arab hospitality then you are in for a treat.
“On the Yalla Eat! tours, guests will meet both small and large business owners eager to share the story of their family-run enterprises and savor the sights, sounds and delicious scents at bakeries, nut and coffee houses and fresh produce markets. Traditional Arabic hospitality is on full display, as generous samples are offered along with the stories of individuals, their families and their history” according to their website.
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“Food was always bubbling up in our collective thought process here at the museum,” director of the Arab American National Museum Devon Akmon says. “Through food, we could bring people who are not Arab into the life and the work of the museum.”
Various shop owners talk about Arab culture and food along with giving delicious samples. One store manager is Mona Alaouie of Super Greenland. Tour guides talk about olives and their place in Arab culture. “Palestine is a quickly dying region and culture,” Mattar says. “Their primary livelihood is olives. A lot of people will exclusively buy olive oil from Nablus, Bethlehem or different parts of Palestine. When Palestinian companies produce olive oil, it’s a revolt against their occupation.”
Turkish coffee is served and a story about why it has such a prominent place in society is explained.
“Why is this kind called Turkish coffee?”
“Because of the Ottoman Empire,” Adam Hashem, owner of a local coffee shop says. “The Ottoman Empire was a global force that went from as far as Greece and Albania down to North Africa and as far as the Arabian Peninsula. That created this style of coffee that’s now consumed around the world.”
This type of tour brings everyone closer together and gives an insight into a culture few have spent time truly exploring. If you get a chance I would highly recommend taking time to study the culture and especially to eat the food.
Alex Sinatra is an actress, model, and corporate attorney. She adores everything to do with city life, but also loves to get back to nature. Her dog Maddox is her constant companion and cuddle buddy.Follow her on Instagram @officialalexsinatra