Okay, first thing’s first; this is the sort of place that you really need to experience for yourself to understand. Speaking about it alone simply does it no justice, as is always the way with food. As a gourmet hunter, missing out on an opportunity to try out the range of modern and ancient cuisine passed down through Egypt’s generations is a loss only you’d have to live with. Even if Egypt wasn’t known for its pyramids, sun and sights, it would still be a destination to visit simply for food alone.
The first thing gourmet hunters will probably want to know about Egypt is that the food holds quite a legacy; it isn’t simply about how it is used and how it is tasted, but the history behind the food in particular. Much of the ingredients derived from ancient times, and (here’s your ‘did you know’ for the day!) workers on the Great Pyramids of Giza were paid with bread (bread made with emmer wheat at the time), beer and onions. Beer’s prevalence in Egypt fizzled out in the year 641 with the Muslim conquest of Egypt, but onions are still widely used in modern cuisine, a taste that the sensitive tongues will acknowledge whilst there.
Foodies will realise that bread is a big and integral part of Egyptian cuisine and is eaten with a variety of different meals. This tradition has carried through the generations due to its origins in the past, from the Badarian culture in the Predynastic era, where bread and beer were a common meal, depending on people’s wealth and status.
You’ll also be glad to know that food here is diverse and relatively cheap, restaurants are far from difficult to come by and stalls selling traditional Egyptian snacks are plentiful. There is something to suit all foodies, including that of vegans and veggies. Most meals consist of a starter of mezzes, which are salads and dips, accompanied with pita bread. Hummus is quite a popular dip, and is also tastier here in its original form than in other countries where they have adopted and adapted the recipe.
Meat eaters – great news; Egyptians love meat! Which means you’ll feel right at home with a selection of mouth-watering, tender meats on skewers, ranging from popular chicken to lamb and beef. Try them with a traditional sauce and you’re in for a treat! But wait, veggies and vegans, do not fret, there are treats for you as well. You will definitely want to try out Kosheri which is a delicious mixture of pasta, lentils, chick peas and bulghar wheat with a topping of spicy tomato sauce… if you can handle it (Egyptians love spices).
For food shoppers, there is a diverse range of spices, herbs and traditional food produce you will most likely never find so widely available as in Egypt.
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Category: Guest Post