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Food-making techniques and a colourful culture revealed at SCRF 2021

Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival’s Cookery Corner is enabling young visitors gain exposure to different cultures through food

 Sharjah, UAE

Sallam Sallam

The Cookery Corner at the ongoing 12th Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF) is an ode to foodies and home chefs across the UAE. Every day during this 11-day cultural extravaganza, a brand new dish from a different country/region will be created from scratch by a celebrated chef in a way that can be replicated by novices and experts in the home kitchen.

A 45-minute Tajine-making session was led by Moroccan Chef Alia Al Kassimi who is leading four workshops at the prestigious event. “For me this is an opportunity, not just to cook, but also to teach kids about a new country. Food can open people’s minds to other cultures”, she said.  

“Once you eat something different and you like it, you are more open to learning more about that culture”, the chef added.

“I wanted to use ingredients children are not used to – so they learn more. I am trying to teach children the difference between cilantro and parsley for example. When they smell it, they touch and taste it, they will understand the difference. I made them smell orange blossom water – these are special ingredients which children have an opportunity to discover here,” Al Kassimi continued.

The Tajine was ready and Alia handed out piping hot samples of Morocco’s favourite staple to her young spectators who waited patiently for a taste.  

Adhering strictly to all COVID-19 preventive measures in line with UAE safety protocols, halls and common areas at the 11-day Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival are sanitised daily, there is thermal scanning for attendees at all access points and hand sanitisers have been placed at convenient locations across the venue. Use of face masks and following social distancing protocols are mandatory. The event will run at the Sharjah Expo Centre till 29th May, 2021.

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