Friday, November 9, 2012

interview with THE CARTON

We are proud to announce a new magazine in our store: The Carton from Beirut. We found out about it a couple of weeks ago and we instantly knew this was something special, a welcome new title in our selection of independent culinary mags. 
We asked editor Jade George a couple of questions about her magazine.

What inspired you to make a magazine?

We’re lovers of print ourselves. There was an absence of a good niche periodical that portrays Middle Eastern culture from an alternative angle.

The Carton is a food magazine, but it also seems to be quite political. Was this a conscious choice?

The Carton is a quarterly publication about Middle Eastern culture. We’ve chosen food as a vehicle to express anything about this culture. Be it socio-political or anthropological or through history and art…

There seems to be a movement in food magazines, more and more interesting titles appear and the Carton is one of them, Which food mags do you read yourself? And do you feel affiliated with them?

The slow journalism movement in print has brought about many titles with a philosophy similar to The Carton’s. I appreciate any effort in making an independent publication with strong editorial and visual identities. Fire & Knives is amongst the food culture periodicals that I enjoy reading. Outside this category however are brilliant ones such as Delayed Gratification and Boat magazine.

Which article in the last issue of The Carton are you the most proud of?

I’ve been wanting to do a piece on the people behind the corner shop for years now and finally got to do it, so I’m pleased about that. There’s great material in the Autumn issue. “Eating Picon in Prison” is a piece that touched us all. It’s a memoir of a young lady who was in one of the Lebanese prisons for days. There’s a feature on Polish milk bars in our passport section, which is where we leave the Middle East for a short while and discover food culture elsewhere. You’ll come across some good bits by people who’s work I personally respect such as wine guru, Michael Karam, and the outstanding chef Joseph Abboud.

What is your personal favourite recipe? And do you want to share it with us?

I find it difficult to answer questions about your favourite cuisine or meal or restaurant, and ironically even more so after doing restaurant critiquing for some years. I guess it would have to be something from Lebanon and something as simple as a thyme manouche with a bowl of labneh and golden Lebanese olive oil. Or a humble rustic mdardara – I like it when they use bulgur instead of rice to blend with the lentils and spices and top it off with some crispy onion bits. That with a side of creamy yoghurt or a fattoush salad will do just fine.

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