So what if the Moroccans make it, too. Never mind that Tunisians eat it for breakfast each weekend, or that it delights the Greeks and satiates the Algerians: Shakshuka is Israeli now. In fact, it’s Israeli because, not in spite, of its widespread popularity across the Middle East. As Jews huddled for safety in their biblical homeland, fleeing violence in Rabat or Tunis or Algiers, they could take comfort in one thing: simmering onions, peppers, and tomatoes, topped with a couple of eggs, cooked on a skillet and consumed with a fresh loaf of white bread. It was what home tasted like, no matter where home happened to be. The ingredients are so basic and the flavors so recognizable that these days, if you want to evoke the mists of the Mediterranean in Boston or in Berlin, all you have to do is whip up a shakshuka. For a true melting-pot experience, some add griddled Cypriot halloumi cheese.
Liel Leibovitz is a senior writer at Tablet.