Sharing and enjoying food is a vital part of Syrian culture, and one which everyone can relate to. For us this started with the Syrian Supper Club, gathering people around a kitchen table for a Syrian-inspired feast and inviting them to donate in return.
As the Syrian Supper Club grew in size and geographical spread (Syrian Suppers have been held everywhere from Melbourne to Istanbul) we returned to our inspiration; the food and ingredients that had delighted us in Damascus.
Remembering the weeks running up to March 2011, when the streets of the city were filling with uncertainty and conflict, we spent our time making marmalade. This and the house in the old city provided a sticky orange-scented refuge from the turmoil outside and the thought of having to leave.
What better way to remember Damascus and raise money for people so desperately in need, than through those bitter oranges so synonymous with Syria. Our MarmalAid takes its inspiration from them and uses the flavours that we encountered so often when living there: star anise, cardamom, rose water, orange blossom and ginger. MarmalAid is a simple but powerful idea, and to know that just by buying a jar someone’s life will be improved or perhaps even saved, is an extraordinary thing.