Millions of Muslims around the world have been marking the holy month of Ramadan, with celebrations reaching a crescendo with Eid al-Fitr.
Food is central to Ramadan, and in this episode of the Table Talk podcast, we look at some of the history and tradition, but also the vital role of nutrition.
We also pose some questions: Is the food industry in the UK doing enough to cater for people observing Ramadan? And is it missing an opportunity?
Ramadan contributes more than £200m to the UK economy – but is enough being done to cater for specific needs?
Listen to the full episodes to find out about the many different ways Ramadan is celebrated around the world, and why dates play such a central role in the breaking of the fast.
We also look at the types of foods that are helpful when fasting during daylight hours, how some traditional dishes are being given a modern twist, and get some tips on how to make the traditional Turkish dessert Gullac.
Mursal Saiq, Director and Co-Founder, Cue Point
Mursal was born in Kabul, Afghanistan to middle-class, educated parents. A few weeks into her birth, her family were forced to evacuate their home and give it up to members of the Taliban during the 1990s civil war. They fled their home and made their way to India, before being separated, with Mursal moving to London as a child refugee.
Mursal went on to study political history at university, then straight to internships. She couldn’t afford to do them solely as she had to pay bills so she started to work @streeteastldn in the evening after her advertising internship, where she met Josh (the other co founder of Cue Point) and the rest is history.
Cue Point is a British-Afghan smoked BBQ company, with an ethos of inclusive catering, designed to be accessible to people from a wide range of backgrounds.
Mary Isin, Food Historian
Hailing from Nottingham, England, Mary Işın met her Turkish husband Yavuz while she was studying philosophy at York University and moved to Ankara as soon as she graduated in 1973. In 1980, they moved to Istanbul, where she has lived ever since, writing up a storm of wonderful non-fiction books on Turkish and Ottoman culinary history and becoming a specialist on the topic in Turkey and abroad.
Mary Işın has published three books in English and eight in Turkish, with her most recent being “Bountiful Empire: A History of Ottoman Cuisine“. It examines how the culinary traditions evolved in the over five centuries of Ottoman rule and explores culinary aspects such as etiquette, cooks, restaurants and food regulations.
Her book “Sherbet and Spice: The Complete Story of Turkish Sweets and Desserts” was released in 2013 and is the English version of “Gülbeşeker,” which won the Dünya Kitap Gastronomic Book of the Year prize in 2009.