The food of Egypt
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These notes were made during a short trip to Egypt. These are just our food experiences and you may have a totally different experience depending on your budget, where you travel and where you eat.
Notes from July 2005
Egyptian food is influenced by Turkish, Lebanese and Greek cuisine. It was surprisingly very intersting and delicious. Commonly there is a meal of the house, with meat, vegetables, salad, flat bread and soup. Bread is often puffed pita pocket bread that can be stuffed with salads or part of your meal. Cumin is a common spice used in meals.
This was our favourite meal in Egypt. It is the fast food alternative, taking only minutes to serve. It consisted of a combination of macaroni, short noodles and rice, served in a small or large bowl with crispy fried onions, chick peas, black lentils and a tomato based sauce. Chilli and lemon juice are added to your own taste. There can be varieties with tuna and chicken. Absolutely delicious. Specialist restuarants of this meal are common. See more about Kushari.
Egyptian style felafal is actually called Ta'amigya. It is mashed fava beans with lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper, cummin, which is formed into patties and deep fried. It is then eaten alone or in a pita pocket with salad and tahini.
This is a staple in Egypt, prepared and eaten in many different ways. The most simple being soaked until soft, then mashed with olive oil and spices. It is an aquired taste when eaten like this but there are many other more flavoursome ways to eat them.
Kofta meat balls
Mince meat mixed with spices and cooked in elongated balls.
A common and popular meal, usually stuffed with rice and spices to cook. Quite fiddly to eat.
Popular accompaniament to each meal. Often they are eaten as dips, being served on a mezze plate with bread
- Tahini - sesame seed paste, ingredient to many other salads
- Hummous - cooked chickpeas mashed with tahini, garlic and lemon
- Baba ganoush - eggplant cooked and mashed with tahini
- Tatziki - yohurt and cucumber with garlic
- pink pickled turnips ( pronounced in Arabic: “lift”) which is often served alongside meals to perk them up.
Multiple layers of filo pastry with a variety of fillings between, cooked in a round pie dish
One of the locally eaten dishes for breakfast is a bowl of cracked wheat with hot milk and honey
- Coffee is very strong and short
- Tea is quite common, and is sometimes served with chopped fresh mint leaves. Very refreshing.
- Fruit juice stands are found in marets and street corners, everything from orange, mango, lemon, banana and even sugar cane syrup. Unfortunately I did not try any because of my concerns for the hygeine of them.
The Egyptian version of the McDonalds menu was of course the McFelafel burger, served on a pita bread pocket. See more about McDonalds around the world.