A SOLUTION IS FOUND IN SALT AND SPICE
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        If landscape is a way of seeing that we learn, I see a Somaliland that is inextricably linked with England. I learned to make Xawaash in England, and yet it is also a reminder of a home, or at least of a landscape that is not English. When we as a family go for walks in the beautiful English countryside around Bristol, I always take a flask of shaah or chai. I grew up drinking shaah, the tea my mother made for guests. My boys now associate country walks with shaah as does my English husband; it is the only time I make it. I think there is something beautiful in this, a Somali trace of spiced tea in the rural English landscape. T.S. Eliot articulates the complexities of this migration well: The migrations of modern times […] have transplanted themselves according to some social, religious, economic or political determination or some peculiar mixture of these. There has therefore been something in the re-movements analogous in nature to religious schism. The people have taken with them only a part of the total culture […. T]he culture which develops on the new soil must therefore be bafflingly alike and different from the parent culture. 20 Wherever people migrate, there will always be gaps in the availability of foodstuffs, some seemingly essential items that cannot be transported or do not grow well in the new environment. For my mother, who grew up as a goat herder on the Ethiopian/Somali border, fresh camel milk has a strong association with the Somali landscape; since leaving Somaliland, this camel milk has become, for her, imbued with mystical powers. Camels are so important to sustaining Somali nomads that there are forty-six different words for camel. My mother firmly believes fresh camel milk cures all sorts of ailments, and she laments its loss. The loss is far greater than just camel milk: it is a loss of home, a loss so keenly felt that my mother (along with a generation of her peers) took up a recipe for camel milk, consisting of the following unlikely but available ingredients: a dash of 7-Up, natural yoghurt, salt, and water. Imagine our excitement each Ramadan when she brought out the ‘camel milk’. For children of the African diaspora this idea of home, of this ‘parent culture’, is entwined with food.



My name is Fozia Ismail, I run a Somali supper club and research project in Bristol.

Arawelo Eats is a platform for exploring East African food in exciting ways; not just what's being served on the plates at my supper club but what it means for our understanding of belonging in a post- Brexit world.

This has involved me researching and writing about race and British identity for the Oxford Symposium on Food & Cookery, designing workshops with Keep It Complex feminist art collective, Serpentine Gallery, Jerwood Project Space & Museum of London and Colonial Countryside Project using food as method to think through some of these complex issues.

I have been featured on Observer Food Magazine, BBC Radio 4 Food Programme, Oxford Symposium on Food & Cookery Ox Tales podcast, Food 52, Crumbs Magazine, Vice Munchies & Bristol 24/7.

I am also a City Fellow for the Arnolfini - Centre for Contemporary Arts in Bristol on my project Camel Meat and Tapes.

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