A Handful of Must-Stock Ingredients for Middle Eastern Cooking

Middle Eastern Cooking pic
Middle Eastern Cooking
Image: allrecipes.com

Evan Loring serves as senior cloud solutions manager at Congruity, an IT solutions provider in Pembroke, Massachusetts. Outside of work, Evan Loring enjoys cooking and is especially fond of preparing spicy cuisines from places around the world like the Middle East. When making Middle Eastern dishes, individuals will need to add a few new ingredients to their pantry.

One of the most common ingredients is called ras-el-hanout. This ingredient is actually a blend made with about 30 different spices, although each merchant has a different formulation. The mixture can prove quite spicy, so prospective cooks should give it a taste to ensure it’s right for them before adding it to a recipe.

To bring heat to a dish, Middle Eastern recipes often call for Aleppo pepper, a Syrian spice that can be also found around the world. When using the pepper, individuals should look out for its seeds and choose a brand that comes in coarse flakes.

Za’atar is a flavorful spice blend that includes thyme, oregano, sesame seeds, sumac, and other dried herbs. The flavor of za’atar is very strong and distinct, so it should be used sparingly, but it is irreplaceable in recipes that call for it.

Another way to add spice to Middle Eastern dishes is through harissa. Originating in Tunisia, harissa consists of garlic, cumin, coriander, and chili pepper ground into a thick paste. Harissa is a versatile ingredient that can enhance the flavor of everything from fried olives to chickpeas.


Harvard’s Little Red Flag

Harvard little red flag


A senior director at Congruity, an information technology solutions company based in Massachusetts, Evan Loring works to grow the firm’s enterprise business segments. Prior to his position at Congruity, Evan Loring served as the receivers coach for the Harvard football team. Harvard, an American university with a rich history, has many traditions, one of which appears at every Harvard vs. Yale football game.

Harvard and Yale have one of the oldest sports rivalries in the nation, making the Harvard-Yale game an annual expedition for many alumni. At each game, fans can count on seeing the “little red flag,” a crimson flag on which an olive green “H” is embroidered.

Just like Harvard, the flag has a rich history, stretching all the way back to 1884 when Frederick Plummer, at freshman at the time, attached it to the end of a walking stick and took it to the Harvard-Yale game. It reappeared at every Harvard-Yale game for many years until Plummer died in 1949.

After Plummer’s death, the Harvard fan with the distinction of attending the most Harvard-Yale games began carrying the flag. It changed hands several times until 2001, when Friends of Harvard Football bestowed the honor on William Markus, an alumnus who was designated a “superfan” and has diligently supported Harvard and its athletic program. These days, the original flag is kept in a secret location on Harvard’s campus until the annual Harvard-Yale football game.

Pearl Jam Chosen for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2017

Pearl Jam pic
Pearl Jam
Image: rockhall.com

As a senior manager at Congruity, Evan Loring has played a leading role in growing the IT consultancy’s enterprise business revenue to over $10 million per year. A former collegiate athlete and wide receiver coach for university football programs, Evan Loring enjoys spending his free time staying active and listening to his favorite bands, which include Pearl Jam.

As December 2016 drew to a close, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced the newest inductees into its collection of globally influential musicians. The artists poised to join the Hall of Fame in its 32nd annual induction ceremony represent a wide range of musical styles, time periods, and locales. As described by Rock and Roll Hall of Frame CEO Joel Peresman, “Rock and roll means so many things to so many different people,” and the 2017 Hall of Fame exemplifies this by highlighting artists from all corners of the rock genre.

The 2017 class honors Pearl Jam, who helped to spearhead the Seattle grunge genre and are joining the Hall of Fame in their very first year of eligibility. Recognized alongside Pearl Jam are 1960s folk rocker Joan Baez, Great Britain’s Yes and Electric Light Orchestra, and Journey, the San Francisco-based purveyors of 80s rock anthems. Branching out into hip-hop as an offshoot of rock and roll, the 2017 Hall of Fame class also features the late Tupac Shakur, the iconic rapper whose verses helped to define the early hip-hop movement.