Welcome, my name is Adina. My heart lies somewhere between the Mediterranean & the Middle East, although my physical body resides in West London. I’m also an accidental orientalist and self confessed nostalgia addict. If you’d like to drop me a line you can reach me on firstname.lastname@example.org
NazarBlue encompasses my love for 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 authentic heartfelt food with stories behind each dish, upholding traditions and honouring the people and places I cherish the most.
Growing up with Southern Italian roots, Turkish best friends and Arabic, Greek and Persian speaking neighbours, life was lived around abundant tables, socialising in warm kitchens. A love for food and feeding was inevitable. For me, food has always symbolised affection and family, it personifies the people who I hold dearest and whispers of origins. To cook is to create edible offerings of love. When I met Murat, a swarthy Saracen from Istanbul, his relatives not only welcomed me into their lives but welcomed me into their kitchen where I further got to know Eastern style Turkish & Kurdish cuisine.
Immersed in diverse yet familiar cultures, I’ve come to realise that all people are the same regardless of language and borders – Una Faccia Una Razza! One face, one race! Food and the culture surrounding it weaves a common thread in people. Some may debate about the origins Baklava, Hummus 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 lived among families and had 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 profound influences on my life, superstitions and rituals for good luck have always been somewhere in the background. 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 Evil Eye charms (Nazar Boncuk) developed when my Turkish friends brought them back from their long summers abroad. The glass amulets were hung on door frames and worn around wrists, so beautiful 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; rituals of superstition and the sea which unites so many people. Here I aim to share food and stories with you under a virtual grape vine canopy sipping a strong coffee, 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 places to on my to-visit list? Lebanon and Eastern Turkey.
Nowadays I have cast wanderlust aside temporarily and can be found mostly in my west London kitchen, with a baby on my hip and a rather boisterous toddler hanging off one leg!
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!