What do you get when five hundred-year-old recipes originating in North Africa are passed down generations and transported across the world?
The nomadic chili pepper makes it way to Spain and to the Maghreb countries of North Africa during the Spanish inquisition. The region already welcomed pungent spices and it was the Tunisian’s that made the very special harissa that we relish in today.
Harissa comes from the Arabic word harasa, which means ‘to pound.’ Simply prepared as a paste with chillies, salt, and olive oil. It becomes as ubiquitous in North Africa as ketchup in the United States. The flavor profile and recipe differs from country to country, region to region, and even family to family. There is no single correct way of making harissa.
A photograph of Joanna’s grandparents, great aunt, and great uncle in Casablanca, Morocco celebrating an unknown occasion. We are pretty certain that the familial harissa made an appearance.
Michael and Joanna preserving their heritage so that their traditions and recipes will be here for generations to come.