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Fusion of Middle-Eastern & Latin American Cuisine
Migration has been at the core of the human experience since beginning of time. While early humans migrated due to many factors such as changing climate and inadequate food-supplies, the drivers in modern times are also economic and social. While fleeing dire hardship like war, natural disasters, crime, joblessness, social and political oppression, migrants are fundamentally motivated by their search for a better life, bringing optimism and aspiration to the promised land.
Owned by an asylum-seeker from Iran, Arcana strives to celebrate the positive impacts of immigration. Here in the heart of the Mission District which is home to many Latino families with similar stories and backgrounds, Arcana wants to shine a bright light on the beauties of culture, food, music and art that migrants bring to this special place.
The cuisine and culture of the Middle East is profoundly intertwined with those of the Jewish diaspora and southern Europe. As a byproduct of cultural cross-pollination during and after the Colonial Period, Middle Eastern spices and cooking techniques are commonly found across the Americas, commingled with pre-contact indigenous soups, stews, breads and vegetable dishes. This exchange travelled in both directions, and many classical dishes of the modern era in the greater Mediterranean would be impossible to imagine without the tomatoes, chiles, corn, and other crops from the Americas. What might feel native at first glance, can reveal its roots from across the globe.