How to eat: shakshuka

This month, we tackle a breakaway brunch hit. Does it need toast? Fresh herbs? And could any imaginative twist improve its symphony of eggs and tomato?

Like many dishes, the subject of this month’s How to Eat, shakshuka, is caught in an international tug-of-love among its possible parents.

This staple of hip, British brunch cafes is commonly thought of as coming from Israel, where it has been adopted as a national dish, but, insomuch as they can be traced, shakshuka’s origins lie in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Morocco. Tunisia is frequently cited as its birthplace, but the country’s varied repertoire of shakshukas may itself riff on older Ottoman Empire dishes. In Israel, shakshuka has embedded itself in recent decades thanks to the arrival of Jews from around the Maghreb. Many worked in catering and later opened restaurants, bringing such beloved north African dishes with them.

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