A Teaspoon of (لیمون) Zest

Relishing and zesting the beauty of cultures in the Middle East and South Asia.


Frida Lundgren

Swedish Tufts University graduate and culture enthusiast. Bridging cultural gaps to create cross-cultural understanding is my hope. Languages, culture, FOOD (!), fashion, music, and books are my passions. I believe in the power of small movements to bring about greater change. Eye turned towards the Middle East and South Asia. Recent trips to Turkey and Iran. Currently living in Dubai.

Exploring the desserts of Dubai, Part 2: banana ice cream

I’m not usually one for healthy versions of dessert – but when it’s made of banana and chocolate, it’s a whole different story.

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In the mood for some Turkish (Instagram) food

If you’re anything like me, you love filling your Instagram feed with food accounts. Videos, photos, recipes – you name it. You watch a video, you click on the account, and suddenly… You’ve spent a whole hour just watching food videos! Well no need to search today, friends. Here are all the Turkish food videos that you need.

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Exploring the desserts of Dubai, Part 1: Cupcakes

When it’s 40+ degrees outside and the streets are literally oozing with heat, all you want is a cool oasis to hide out in until the sun has set. And if the oasis happens to be a bakery filled with tantalizing aromas, pastel walls and pretty floors – well, that’s just a plus.  Oh, and did I mention the cupcakes? Cupcakes with or without sprinkles, with colorful icing, and of all flavors. That is what really makes Magnolia Bakery at the JBR Walk the perfect escape on a hot day.

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Monsoons and chocolate in Mumbai (photos)

Summers in Mumbai can be all about the monsoons. Believe me, I would know. When I visited the city 4 years ago, that was about the first thing that happened to me! It came from nowhere, and left me completely drenched. But I didn’t mind at all – there’s something about the monsoon rains and their dark skies that I find poetic and almost a bit enchanting. Although I have to admit that I prefer to admire them from inside!

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Instagram dreams for Indian food lovers

If I could choose to live my life eating just one kind of food, I would choose Indian. I love the sauces, the spices, paneer, tikkas, rajma, dosa… Just thinking about the dishes makes my mouth water! Given my passion for Indian food (all food really), it is perhaps not very surprising that my whole Instagram feed is filled with food accounts that share all that is great about Indian cuisine. Here are some that are definitely worth checking out!

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In the mood for brunch? Visit Bubblicious in Cairo

Brunch might be one of my favorite meals. I love the choices. The savory: eggs Benedict, omelettes, avocado toasts. The sweet: pancakes, waffles, yoghurt bowls. All great choices – all delicious. And I hear that Cairo has a real gem for all brunch lovers: Bubblicious – a brunch, breakfast AND bubble tea store. YUM!

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If you love chocolate, then you must visit Çikolata Dükkanı in Istanbul

Love chocolate? YES YES YES I DO! And I cannot believe that I missed this cafe when I was in Istanbul. I absolutely agree with INSIDER Food – it looks like chocolate heaven! And their motto, “Forget love, fall in chocolate” :O this must be where I am meant to spend the rest of my life.

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Monday Mixtape: Indian and American a cappella with Penn Masala

I love intercultural things, and therefore, I love Penn Masala. Penn Masala is an Indian-American a cappella group, the first ever South Asian a cappella group, which mixes contemporary American hit songs with Bollywood hit songs. Genius. And although they started as just a student group at the University of Pennsylvania, Penn Masala has grown to become popular all over the world for their inventive music mixes, with several songs reaching over 1 million views on YouTube. Here are some of their songs, enjoy!

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Throwback to my trip to Bombay (photos)

In 2012, I went to visit Bombay, India. It’s a very special place for me, not only because I happen to love the colors, happiness, and movement that I think the city (and country) represent, but because it is the home to some of my closest friends. Here are some photos from my trip!

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