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The Post

Cassie Fait, AfterTaste Columnist

Cassie Fait 

is a senior studying journalism and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Email her at or find her on Twitter at @foodiefait and Instagram at @cassiefait.

AfterTASTE: Pittsburgh restaurant cooks up conflict, conversation

The beauty of food is that it connects people from across the globe; it reflects different cultures. Food creates a dialogue not only about cuisine itself but also about other topics of interest.

In Pittsburgh, a restaurant uniquely combines politics with food. The restaurant, Conflict Kitchen, caters its menu to cuisine from countries that the United States is in conflict with. The restaurant wishes to educate and create conversations about the chosen country. Servers and employees must have a working knowledge about the countries to create conversations with customers.

As reported by WTAE in Pittsburgh, the restaurant owners received a death threat last week. Though they wouldn’t discuss the specifics of the threat, the owners temporarily closed the restaurant. They reopened Wednesday with a supportive rally organized by the public.

Since October, Conflict Kitchen has served Palestinian fare. The menu offers hummus, fattoush, falafel and baba ghanoush, among other themed foods. It’s a take-out restaurant, and some media outlets have protested the food wrappers, claiming they contain anti-Israeli sentiments.

But in actuality, the food wrappers contain the opinions of Palestinian natives and aren’t fabricated statements. Conflict Kitchen wishes to show the experiences of Palestinian people. If they stated plain facts, the restaurant would lose some of its appeal and uniqueness. Conflict Kitchen is more than an environment to eat; it wishes to educate and to start a debate about worldwide conflicts.

Palestine is embroiled in the age-old fight with Israel, so some of the quotes on the food wrappers reflect people’s attitudes toward Israel. People have the right to express their opinions, even though their names are withheld from the statements.

Pittsburgh contains a melting pot of ethnicities, but Conflict Kitchen brought the only Iranian, Afghan, Venezuelan, North Korean and Palestinian restaurant into the City of Bridges. The restaurant dared to venture into a realm that can be considered rocky territory.

Knowledge is power, and learning about various cultures generates an opportunity to thrive. Staying stagnant in belief and knowledge only inhibits a person from experiencing new openings in life.

Cassie Fait is a senior studying journalism and women’s, gender and sexuality studies. Email her at or find her on Twitter at @foodiefait and Instagram at@cassiefait

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