So lets start off your culinary trip with the main meals before we move on to cavity-creating-nation.
I'm a vegetarian and I have yet to starve. I've been in the deepest corners of southern Germany and still survived off of potatoes and sauerkraut. I've been to Ghana and survived off of fried plantains and rice. And I even survived Egypt and probably consumed that most calories doing so. All of my friends seemed to have contemplated together to get as much sugar down my throat as possible.
The funniest question that I frequently was asked when the people found out I was vegetarian was, "So, you don't eat chicken?"........No. It's sort of in the definition. The Egyptians I was around seemed to differentiate between meat and chicken. While at dinner, our friend asked Amira if she felt like eating meat or chicken. I think we need to review the definition of meat with our friends.
Anyways, here are some yummy traditional things I just had to try.
Kushari: noodles, rice, black lentils, chickpeas, fried onions and tomatoes. A bit basic tasting but good for the westerner's palate since there aren't any out of the ordinary spices involved.
Molokhiyya: its an oddly sticky soup made up of a leafy green (that isn't spinach). I really don't know why its oddly slimy and was honestly too afraid to ask.
Ful: Flava beans with lemon and tahini and oil and spices. Really yummy and mostly had as breakfast with....
Egyptian bread: there were two kinds we ate most of the time
-- A'aish baladi: its like a pocket of bread. Its made of wholemeal and plain flour and leavens to form a pocket with a soft crust. You can see them being baked on an open flame in the streets.
-- A'aish shammy is kind of like the Egyptians version of a tortilla but made with plain flour and the two layers can be separated.
And now for the sugar overload:
Couscous with milk: This was served in a dish filled to the brim with couscous, topped with a bunch of sugar and served with a bag full of hot milk that you had to manage to open and pour on the couscous in the already full dish without making a complete mess in your new friend's car. I succeeded and it was sweat success....literally. Pretty delicious!
Zalabya covered in white chocolate: Tiny fried dough balls covered in white chocolate. Need I say more.
Peanut butter and chocolate drink made with a sugar milk mix they drink during Ramadan. It was so think and so sweet and really was an overkill for that particular day of eating.
Omm Ali: My favorite of all! Layers of fiteer pastry with nuts and raisins, soaked in cream and milk, and baked in the oven. SO. GOOD. I had three in the time I was there. Two in one day. I'm sure each had 8000 calories.
|Number two for one day.|
I brought home a bunch of Egyptian treats that included kunafa and baklava.
Our coffee at the summer place was a packet mixed with coffee, sugar and milk powder....it was already ridiculously sweet and Amira's boyfriend still always added a few spoons of sugar......
Apparently the Egyptians also really love their meat. Amira's boyfriend would have barbecued every night for me if that had been something I wanted.
All in all, I'm sure all those yummy things are working their way into my thighs and hips.....and it was totally worth it!
I had a pretty fun time at work this past week. I'll post about it tomorrow!
Stay healthy! (That seems rather hypocritical after this post)