Selected References for Research on Foodways and Society in Dhofar, Oman

My research explores the foodways of Omanis who live in Dhofar, the southern region of Oman. My interest in food and cooking evolved from a contradiction, observed over twelve years of anthropological research, that Dhofaris both hate to waste food and usually make more than is necessary in case anyone unexpectedly shows up to share the meal. My research focused first on social food practices in the Dhofar region, specifically how food is used to show personal generosity and how eating together defines and enhances social relationships. My current research examines changes in food purchasing and cooking during Dhofar’s rapid modernization after the mid-1970s. This includes looking at differences in cooking methods (wood to gas), the expanding selection of foods, and changes in culinary practices as a result of having expats cook in middle-class homes. For more details, see Foodways and Society in Dhofar, Oman

This list includes references from the fields of food studies (including cookbooks, food blogs, restaurant reviews, and cookbook reviews), anthropology, history, and travel writing


Al-Hamad, Sarah. (2016). Cardamom and Lime: Flavors of the Arabian Gulf, the Cuisine of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and the U.A.E. Singapore: IMM Lifestyle Books.

Alsharekh, Alanoud, ed. (2007). The Gulf Family: Kinship Policies and Modernity (SOAS Middle East Issues). London: Saqi.

Alyaarubi, Saif. (2011). Diabetes Care in Oman: Obstacles and Solutions. SQU Medical Journal 11.3: 343-348.

Amery, Hussein. (2019). Food Security in Qatar: Threats and Opportunities. Gulf Insights Series Nº 7 Gulf Studies Center, Qatar University.

Avieli, Nir and Rafi Grosglik. (2013). Food and Power in the Middle East and the Mediterranean: Practical Concerns, Theoretical Considerations. Food, Culture and Society 16.2: 181-195.

Appaduari, Arjun. (1985). Gratitude as a Social Mode in South India. Ethos 13.3: 236-245.

Bardenstein, Carol. (2010). Beyond Univocal Baklava: Deconstructing Food-as-Ethnicity and the Ideology of Homeland in Diana Abu Jaber’s The Language of Baklava. Journal of Arabic Literature 4: 160-179.

Belk, Russell and Rana Sobh. (2009). Behind Closed Doors: Gendered Home Spaces in a Gulf Arab State, in Asia-Pacific Advances in Consumer Research 8. Sridhar Samu, Rajiv Vaidyanathan, and Dipankar Chakravarti, eds. Duluth, MN: Association for Consumer Research. 34-34.

Blake, Megan, Jody Mellor and Lucy Crane and Brigitta Osz. (2009). Eating in Time, Eating Up Time, in Changing Families, Changing Food. Peter Jackson, ed. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. 187-204.

Boxhall, P. G. (1966). Socotra: ‘Island of Bliss’. The Geographical Journal 132.2: 213-222.

Brammer, John Paul. (2019, May 26). I’m from a Mexican Family: Stop Expecting Me to Eat ‘Authentic’ Food. The Washington Post.

Brown, Victoria. (2014). Language: A Taste of Reality. One Dish Closer.

Bsisu, May. (2005). The Arab Table: Recipes and Culinary Tradiations. New York: William Morrow.

Carman, Tim. (2019, Jan. 2). My column’s Name Does a Disservice to the Immigrants whose Food I Celebrate – So I’m Dropping It. The Washington Post.

Campbell, Felicia. (2015). The Food of Oman: Recipes and Stories from the Gateway to Arabia. London: Andrew McMeel.

Clements, Frank. (1977). The Islands of Kuria Muria: A Civil Aid Project in the Sultanate of Oman Administered from Salalah, Regional Capital of Dhofar. Bulletin (British Society for Middle Eastern Studies) 4.1: 37-39.

Cleveland, Ray. (1960). The 1960 American Archaeological Expedition to Dhofar. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 159: 14-26.

Ciezadlo, Annia. (2011, April 25). Eat, Drink, Protest: Stories of the Middle East’s Hungry Rumblings: Buying Peace, One Feast at a Time. Foreign Policy 186.

—.  (2011, March 15). Eating My Way Through the Cedar Revolution (excerpt). Foreign Policy.

Cohen, Erik and Nir Avieli. (2004). Food in Tourism: Attraction and Impediment. Annals of Tourism Research 31.4: 755–778.

Coleman, Leo, ed. (2012). Food: Ethnographic Encounters (Encounters: Experience and Anthropological Knowledge). Oxford: Berg.

Counihan, Carole and Penny van Esterik, eds. (2012). Food and Culture: A Reader. London: Routledge.

Crowther, Gillian. (2018). Eating Culture: An Anthropological Guide to Food. Toronto Press: University of Toronto Press.

De Regt, Marina. (2010). Ways to Come, Ways to Leave: Gender, Mobility, and Il/legality among Ethiopian Domestic Workers in Yemen. Gender and Society 24.2: 237-260.

—.  (2009). Preferences and Prejudices: Employers’ Views on Domestic Workers in the Republic of Yemen. Signs 34.3: 559-581.

Deeb, Lara and Jessica Winegar. (2012). Anthropologies of Arab-Majority Societies. Annual Review of Anthropology 41: 537-558.

Elder, Kara. (2019, June 14). The West knows Yemen’s War and Famine: A Daughter of Immigrants is Spreading the Word about the Country’s Cuisine. The Washington Post.

Elie, Serge. (2006). Soqotra: South Arabia’s Strategic Gateway and Symbolic Playground. British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 33.2: 131-160.

Ferguson, Priscilla. (2011). The Senses of Taste. American Historical Review 116.2:  371-384.

Fieldhouse, Paul. (1998). Food and Nutrition: Customs and Culture. Cheltenham, UK: Stanley Thomas.

Fisher, Jennifer. (2003-2004). “Arabian Coffee” in the Land of Sweets. Dance Research Journal 35.2: 146-163.

Fox, Robin. (2018). Food and Eating: An Anthropological Perspective. Social Issues Research Centre.

Gallagher, Winifred. (2007). House Thinking: A Room-by-room Look at How We Live. New York: HarperCollins.

Gilette, Maris. (2019). Muslim Foodways, in The Handbook of Food and Anthropology. Jakob Klein and James Watson, eds. London: Bloomsbury Academic. 48-73.

Goody, Jack. (1996). Cooking, Cuisine and Class. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Griffiths, Merlyn and Mary Gilly. (2012). Sharing Space: Extending Belk’s (2010)“Sharing.” Journal of Research for Consumers 22: 1-24.

Joseph, Suad, ed. (2018). Arab Family Studies: Critical Reviews (Gender, Culture, and Politics in the Middle East). Syracuse: Syracuse Univeristy Press.

Julier, Alice.  (2015). Family and Domesticity. A Cultural History of Food in the Modern Age (The Cultural Histories Series). Amy Bentley, ed. London: Bloomsbury Academic. 145-164.

—. (2013). Eating Together: Food, Friendship, and Inequality. Chicago: University of Illinois, 2013.

—. (2013). Meals: ‘Eating In’ and ‘Eating Out’ in The Handbook of Food Research. Anne Murcott, Warren Belasco and Peter Jackson, eds. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

Julier, Alice and Lindenfeld, Laura. (2005). Mapping Men onto the Menu: Masculinities and Food. Food & Foodways, 13:1–16.

Jurafsky, Dan. (2014). The Language of Food: A Linguist Reads the Menu. New York: W. W. Norton.

Kanafani, Aida Sami. (1979). Aesthetics and Ritual in the United Arab Emirates. unpublished dissertation, University of Texas at Austin.

Käsmayr, Anneli and Thomas A. Vilgis. (2017). On the Sensation of Freshly Grated Lemon Zest: Anneli Käsmayr and Thomas A. Vilgis Talk About Food Innovation, Taste and Emotion, in Culinary Turn: Aesthetic Practice of Cookery. Nicolai Van Der Meulen and Jörg Wiesel, eds. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag, 2017. 265-278.

Klein, Jakob and James Watson, eds. (2019). The Handbook of Food and Anthropology. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

Korsmeyer, Carolyn and David Sutton. (2011). The Sensory Experience of Food. Food, Culture and Society 14.4: 461-47.

Lancaster, William  and Fidelity Lancaster. (1995). Nomadic Fishermen of Ja’alân, Oman. Nomadic Peoples 36/37: 227-244.

Lichfield, Gideon. (2010, January 15). A Look Inside the Middle East’s New Weapons of Mass Consumption. Foreign Policy.

Maclagan, Ianthe. (1994). Food and Gender in a Yemeni Community, in A Taste of Thyme: Culinary Cultures of the Middle East. Sami Zubaida and Richard Tapper, eds. New York: I.B. Tauris Publishers. 159-72

Mauss, Marcel. (2011/ 1924). The Gift: Forms and Functions of Exchange in Archaic Societies. Mansfield Centre, CA: Martino Publishing.

Mbaga, Msafiri Daudi. (2015). The Prospects of Sustainable Desert Agriculture to Improve Food Security in Oman. Consilience 13: 114-128.

Meneley, Anne. (2007). Fashions and Fundamentalisms in Fin-De-Siecle Yemen: Chador Barbie and Islamic Socks. Cultural Anthropology 22.2: 214–243.

Mercer, Lorraine and Linda Strom. (2007). Counter Narratives: Cooking Up Stories of Love and Loss in Naomi Shihab Nye’s Poetry and Diana Abu-Jaber’s Crescent. MELUS 32.4: 33-46.

Miller, Anthony, Miranda Morris, and Susanna Stuart-Smith. (1988). Plants of Dhofar, the Southern Region of Oman: Traditional, Economic, and Medicinal Uses. Muscat: Office of the Adviser for Conservation of the Environment, Diwan of Royal Court.

Mintz, Sidney. (1996). Tasting Food, Tasting Freedom: Excursions into Eating, Culture, and the Past. Boston: Beacon Press.

Mintz, Sidney, and Du Bois, Christine. (2002). The Anthropology of Food and Eating. Annual Review of Anthropology 31:99-119.

Morris, Miranda. (1997). The Harvesting of Frankincense in Dhofar, Oman. In Alessandra Avanzini, ed.  Profumi d’Arabia. Rome: L’Erma Bretschneider: 231-250.

—. (1987). ‘Dhofar – What Made it Different’ in Oman: Economic, Social and Strategic Development. B.R. Pridham, ed. London: Croom Helm. 51-78.

Nagy, Sharon. (2000). Dressing up Downtown: Urban Development and Government Public Image in Qatar. City and Society 12(1): 125-47.

—. (1998). “This Time I think I’ll try a Filipina”: Global and Local Influences on Relations between Foreign Household Workers and their Employers in Doha, Qatar. City and Society 10(1): 83-103.

“National Aquaculture Sector Overview-Oman.” (2019).  Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations- Fisheries and Aquaculture Department.

Nye, Naomi Shihab. (2002). Arabic Coffee. Poems by Naomi Shihab Nye. Now Classroom.

Omezzine, Abdallah. (1998). On-shore Fresh Fish Markets in Oman. Journal of International Food and Agribusiness Marketing 10(1): 53-69.

Omezzine, Abdallah, Lokman Zaibet and Hamad Al-Oufi. (1996). The Marketing System of Fresh Fish Products on the Masirah Island ion the Sultanate of Oman. Marine Resources Economics 11: 203-210.

Popp, Georg. (2018). Notes on the Omani Kitchen Eating with Tradition. Just Landed.

Rodionov, Mikhail. (2012). Honey, Coffee, and Tea in Cultural Practices of Ḥaḍramawt in Herbal Medicines in Yemen: Traditional Knowledge and Practice, and Their Value for Today’s World. Ingrid Hehmeyer and Hanne Schönig, eds. Brill: Boston. 143-152.

Roseberry, William. (1996). The Rise of Yuppie Coffees and the Reimagination of Class in the United States. American Anthropologist, New Series, 98.4: 762-775.

Rubin, Aaron. (2015). Recent Developments in Jibbali. Journal of Semitic Studies 60: 431–441.

Sadeghin, Farideh. (2015, Oct. 27). The Food of Oman is Too Good to Ignore: Recipe-testing a Middle Eastern Cookbook Gives our Test Kitchen Director a New Love for an Under-appreciated Cuisine. Saveur.

Salloum, Habeed, Muna Salloum and Leila Salloum Elias. Scheherazade’s Feast: Foods of the Medieval Arab World. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013.

Sobh, Rana and Russell Belk. (2011). Privacy and Gendered Spaces in Arab Gulf Homes. Home Cultures 8.3: 317-340.

—. (2011). Domains of Privacy and Hospitality in Arab Gulf homes. Journal of Islamic Marketing 2.2: 125-137.

Sobh, Rana, Russell Belk, and Jonathan Wilson. (2013). Islamic Arab Hospitality and Multiculturalism. Marketing Theory 13.4: 443-463.

Stoller, Paul and Cheryl Olkes. (1986). Bad Sauce, Good Ethnography. Cultural Anthropology 1.3: 336-352.

Stork, Joe. (1973, March). Socialist Revolution in Arabia: A Report from the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen. MERIP Reports 15: 1-25.

Sutton, David. (2010). Food and the Senses. Annual Review of Anthropology 39: 209-223., 2010

Swift, Candice Lowe, ed. (2015). Teaching Food and Culture. London: Routledge.

“Tipping the Scales: Diabetes in Oman.” (2014). Y Magazine.

vom Bruck, Gabriele. (2005). The Imagined ‘Consumer Democracy’ and Elite Re-Production in Yemen. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 11.2: 255-275.

van Esterik, Penny, Alice Julier and Carole Counihan, eds. (2018). Food and Culture: A Reader. London: Routledge.

Watson, Janet C.E. (2013). Travel to Mecca in the Pre-motorized Period in The Hajj: Collected Essays. Venetia Porter and Liana Saif, eds. London: The British Museum. 96–99.

Watson, Janet C.E. & Abdullah al-Mahri. (2017). Language and Nature in Dhofar, in  RiCOGNIZIONI. Rivisti di Lingue e Letterature straniere e Culture moderne.  Simone Bettega and Fabio Gasparini, eds. Turin: University of Turin. 87–103.

Webster, Roger. (1991, October). Notes on the Dialect and Way of Life of the Āl Wahība Bedouin of Oman. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 54.3: 473-485.

Weir, Shelagh. (2007). A Tribal Order: Politics and Law in the Mountains of Yemen. Austin: University of Texas Press.

Wilk, Richard and Persephone Hintlian. (2005). Cooking on Their Own: Cuisines of Manly Men. Food and Foodways 13(1-2): 159-168.

Yamani, Mai. (2000). You Are What You Cook” Cuisine and Class in Mecca in A Taste of Thyme: Culinary Cultures of the Middle East. Sami Zubaida and Richard Tapper, eds. New York: I.B. Tauris Publishers. 159-72.

Blogs – Omani Food

Mariya. Omani Food.

Omani Recipes. (2015). Arabic Recipes

Traditional Omani Food. (2008, March 1).

Yasmeen. (2018). Omani Cuisine.

Websites – Expat, Tourist and Commercial

The Delicious Cuisine of Oman! (n. d.). Holidify.

Food and Drink – About Oman. (2018). Rough Guides.

Guide to Omani Cuisine. (2017, June 14). Expat

Medhat, Gehad. (2017, Dec, 27). The 10 Best Coffee and Tea Shops in Salalah, Oman. Culture Trip.

Medhat, Gehad. (2017, Dec, 27). The Top Restaurants in Salalah, Oman. Culture Trip.

Oman. (2018). Countries and Their Cultures.

Omani Food. (2015). Best Country.

Omani recipes and cuisine. (2018). Nestle.

Popp, Georg. (2018). Notes on the Omani Kitchen Eating with Tradition. Just Landed.