STORY: Ferdaws Ben Ali protects a decades-old tradition of making Tunisian harissa
a spicy chili paste made of red peppers
(Ferdaws Ben Ali, Tunisian harissa maker)
“For traditional harissa, we dry the peppers, then clean them with water, and finally grind them to create the traditional harissa. We also have another type of harissa where we clean the peppers and then steam them to make steamed harissa."
The condiment is essential in Tunisian cuisine
Its diverse flavors reflect the country's gastronomic heritage
In December 2022, UNESCO added harissa to its Intangible Cultural Heritage list
(Daouda Ben Salem, Tunisian harissa maker) “I learned how to make harissa from my mother and my grandmother, and as I grew up, we continued making it. I have preserved this tradition, and I am now teaching it to my children so that it won't disappear, because we can't live without harissa."