A kosher catering service in Dubai is getting lots of exposure as Gulf commentators herald it as the first of its kind in the Gulf region.
Saudi Arabia’s Al-Arabiya reported that the Jewish community in the United Arab Emirates now has its own kosher food service, the first in the constitutional monarchy. It said that the initiative came in the wake of more Jewish travelers coming to the Gulf last year during events for the “Year of Tolerance” and a realization that kosher food was needed. Now, the blend of local cuisine and kosher food has its own name: Kosherati.
“Longtime Dubai resident Elli Kriel, who had provided kosher food to Jewish travelers informally over the years, noticed an increase in requests in the run-up to the Year of Tolerance,” the report said.
The result was “Elli’s Kosher Kitchen,” a delivery and catering service.
The service were actually launched in February 2019; the article notes that since then, many people have sought it out. The kosher kitchen was highlighted last year with lists of some of the dishes available. One article on Yeah That’s Kosher noted that there was a quinoa salad and fettuccine with roast garlic as well as crispy fish sticks.
The highlighting of the kosher service is part of growing recognition of the Jewish community in the Gulf over the years. Al-Arabiya says there is a new interfaith complex in Abu Dhabi and a rabbi for the Emirates. It says many customers are French or American who travel through or remain in the Gulf.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic and resultant lockdowns have changed the ability for people to travel to the area. Kriel was quoted in Al-Arabiya as saying that since the travel bans, “my customers are mainly expats and Emiratis living in Dubai.”
Her menu includes a cuisine that combines kosher dishes and local foods for Ramadan. One tweet shows challah and rugelach, and a combination of Emirati cuisine and Jewish foods from around the region.
Kriel said that she refers to the food as ‘kosherati” a blend of the words ‘kosher’ and ‘Emirati.’ The article claims there are only 200 Jews in the UAE. Elli’s Kosher Kitchen is on Twitter and is getting support from locals.
In recent years, there has been more recognition of the Jewish community and Jewish issues in the Gulf. World Jewish Congress President Ron Lauder recently penned a piece in Arab News based in Riyadh, the first of its kind.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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