About

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My name is Adina. I was born in West London and I am in my (very) late 20s. If you’d like to drop me a line you can reach me on hello@nazarblue.co.uk

NazarBlue is about Food, Travel & Photography, but by no means the regular stuff you’ll find littering online world of self professed ‘foodie’ blogs. No, no! I cook real food with stories behind each dish, in a bid to uphold traditions and honour the people I cherish the most.

Growing up with Southern Italian roots, Turkish best friends and Arabic and Persian neighbours, life was lived around abundant tables and socialising in various kitchens. A love for food and feeding was inevitable. Food has always symbolised love and family. It personifies the people who I hold dearest and speaks of origins and affections. To cook is to create edible offerings of love. When I met Murat, a dashing Saracen from Istanbul, his relatives not only welcomed me into their lives but welcomed me into their kitchen.

With all the nationalities I have been immersed in, I’ve realised that all people are the same regardless of language and borders – Una Faccia Una Razza! One face, one race! People may debate about the origins Baklava or Pizza but these silly quibbles bear testament to how our histories & origins are shared. Borders have become blurred as dishes passed from one hand to another.

In my cultural addiction section, you can read about the pockets of Mediterranean / Middle Eastern culture I’ve found in London, about authentic and unpretentious eateries, amazing events and about my friends whose stories I want to share with you.

Whenever I’ve travelled I’ve accidentally become a resident rather than a visitor; I’ve stayed with families and lived authentic experiences, usually spending most of my time in the kitchen. You can read about my experiences in the Balkans, Turkey, Italy and beyond in my Travel section.

I have also uploaded some flash fiction, for no particular purpose. (Please feel free to point out any mistakes – sometimes pages of script blur into one fuzzy mess and words fly around. My mother says if I was a pupil in her class, she’d classify me as dyslexic.)

Why the name ‘Nazar Blue’? Well, considering the cultures which have had a profound influence on my life, superstitions and rituals for good luck have swirled around like mystical whispers. We had little horn-shaped, coral talismans (Cornicelli) to ward the ‘malocchio’ away in my very Neapoletan family. Then when I hit my teenage years a real love for the Evil Eye charms (Nazar Boncuk) developed when my Turkish friends brought them back from their summers abroad. The glass beauties hung on door frames and were worn around wrists, so beautifully made that they seemed as if incredibly precious; their sapphire hues shone as deep as the Mediterranean Sea. This is how NazarBlue was born, two of the things I adore the most intertwined; the Evil Eye Charm and the Sea which unites so many people. Here I aim to share food and stories with you under a virtual vine canopy, sipping tea, away from the blazing sun.

I have so many countrys on my ‘to see list’. I’m not quite sure why I have such an affinity to the Med, but most of the countries I yearn to visit lie along it’s coastline. Luckily, living in London there are so many amazing restaurants / concerts / pockets of diaspora to be found that it temporarily quenches the urge to leave. Top countries on my list? Lebanon and Morocco. Yalla!

I hope my blog inspires you to cook or motivates you to travel.

All media / writing is my own unless specified, please ask permission if you would like to use any material – the chances are I will say yes!

18 thoughts on “About

  1. so .. what r u ?!!
    i mean; first i came to ur blog cause i saw the word Italian and i love every thing Italian .. then i saw how much u r open minded and i like people how r not afraid of trying new things (great recipes by the way)..then i saw ur pictures; very beautiful, and i said “nah ! that’s it.. she won’t be more creative” but then i read one of ur stories and one of “cultural addiction”…!
    this is -truly- the first time i read someone’s posts that much. So sorry if i didn’t click “like it” or comment on all of them but i loved them all .
    thank u, i was honoured to meet u ;)
    9B

  2. Hi there, I just saw this after having been away and neglecting my poor little blog :(
    To answer your question I am from London with roots from Napoli. Yet as a Londoner I can say I am a child of the world beacuse my heart lies in many places and many cultures seem so familiar.
    Thanks for your kind words :)

  3. please don’t neglect ur blog it’s really amazing and i came here every day waiting for u to post something new .
    and i want to ask u something .. do u mean by ur blog’s name the the blue eye to protect u from evil or envy ?!

  4. Thats so kind thank you! I’ll be updating very very soon, but I have other work to complete first and I’ll be going to Turkey for two weeks. I’ll be back very soon..
    I named it after the colour of Nazar Boncugu, the eye charm you see everywhere in the South / Eastern Mediterranean. My favorite colour :)

  5. Hola Adina!
    I very much loved your website! It inspires the flavors, the colors and nice smells of the very different cultures and populations overlooking ‘Mare Nostrum’.
    I like to think about people been sailing for centuries across our beatiful sea, making a stunning ‘fusion’ of food, languages and traditions from Andalucia to Sicily, from Lybia to Anatolia…
    Though you are right, in the end it is always about human beings. From who has been living in Italy, Spain and now in London, let me quote C. Pavese who once said:
    “…questo paese, dove sono nato, ho creduto per molto tempo che fosse tutto il mondo. Adesso che il mondo l’ho visto davvero e so che è fatto di tanti piccoli paesi,
    non so se da ragazzo mi sbagliavo poi di molto”. [La Luna e i Faló] :-)

    Ciao
    S

    PS btw, I was dazzled by the photo exhibit of Italian Immigrants in London! I reckon a great piece of work!

  6. Love your blog, can’t wait for the children to go to bed so I can have a proper read..LOVE the pic of your parents looking out from behind the window, LOVE the evil eye charms, YOU are stunning!! Congrats in all you do, and I agree with another poster…don’t neglect the blog, I for one, will keep reading!! xx

  7. Read your entry on Falafel and thought that I should recommend another amazing trader that offers authentic Middle Eastern Falafel which is moist and bursting with flavour. They are called ChikP and I came across them at market in a beautiful location by tower bridge called St Katherin Docks last Friday. Apparently they also trade at several other locations including St James Church on Piccadilly (Mondays), One New Change, Regents Place, Cardinal Place, Canary Wharf (Once per month although not sure of the days). To cut it short, they are without a doubt my favs in London. Check em them out and let me know if you agreed.

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