GAZA CITY: Food and cooking blogs are flourishing during the month of Ramadan as social media users across the Islamic world seek tips and inspiration for their sahoor and iftar gatherings.
Many of these websites, boasting hundreds of thousands of followers on Facebook and Instagram, are based in Palestine, while others are run by Palestinians living abroad.
One such culinary Insta-celebrity is Amani Al-Kahlout, who started her career documenting herself cooking.
“Using my mobile phone, I started filming what I was cooking for my husband and posting it on my Instagram page, and there was a huge increase in interest,” Al-Kahlout said.
In the beginning, she shared traditional dishes from Gaza, which attracted a wide following from Palestinians living in Gulf countries and the US.
Al-Kahlout describes herself as a food blogger and shares recipes from all over the world, using creative presentation for aesthetic appeal, which has seen her achieve a following of about a quarter of a million.
During the holy month, visitors to her account increase dramatically.
“During Ramadan, followers and interaction increase two to three times because people are more interested in food and recipes,” she said.
Most of Al-Kahlout’s followers are women, comprising about 79 percent; the men who interact with her page are usually expatriates, especially students in Western countries.
During Ramadan, followers and interaction increase two to three times because people are more interested in food and recipes.
Chef Wareef is another Arab food blogger whose content receives a major boost during Ramadan. The Syrian chef, who lives in Gaza, has a Facebook page dedicated to simple and quick recipes, in which he presents Syrian recipes to his mostly Gazan audience.
“I’ve noticed that the number of followers and interaction increases significantly during the month of fasting,” he said.
“Most of the questions I receive from followers are related to Syrian food. When they watch a Syrian series featuring a recipe they don’t know, they come to my page and ask me how to make it.”
Palestinian cuisine is one of the richest in the Arab world, and Instagram food blogger Ruba Jaradat’s content, which often presents desserts in an innovative, creative way, reflects this diversity.
“I learn a lot from chefs across the world, and I try to apply what I learn to my own cooking. There are many pastries that I practice making in advance, and after I succeed, I present them to my followers,” Jaradat said.
Jaradat uses her iPhone to film her content and displays the videos in her Instagram Stories, which are permanently saved to her page so anyone can return to them at any time.
“I practice my cooking hobby and share it with others without any financial return, and the interaction I get greatly satisfies me,” she said.