Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Mmmmmmmmm... Camel

Ok, I tried it, I did; in a dish called kuftah. The camel was mixed with beef and lamb so you couldn't really taste the camel, but it was pretty darn good. So good that I ate it on at least two other occasions. I have to say that I really enjoyed Egyptian food, and we ate it as often as we could. In case you are curious about what they eat over there, here are a few of my favorites:

The dips below were really good. The first one is made with tahini and garlic. You dip warm pita bread (right from the bread lady) into it as an appetizer.
This one is called baba ghanoush -it's made with egg plant. Not quite as good as the tahini, but still quite yummy.
This was the lunch we had at the Pharonic Village. I didn't eat the salad (my doctor advised me not to eat any uncooked vegetables) but the grilled chicken was wonderful. (I wish I could remember the name.) The rice was interesting; it was seasoned with cinnamon and nutmeg, but wasn't really sweet. It was OK, but not something I would ever make at home.
Chic peas are in lots of dishes in Egypt. One day for lunch they were served with a rather spicy sauce. It was delicious.This was, hands down, my favorite Egyptian food. The souk (little shopping area) around the corner from my mom's apartment has a bakery where they make bread and other goodies. Almost every evening I would go there and buy four of these little beauties for our breakfast the next day. (I think it is called fiteer, but I need my mom to double check.) It is hard to describe; it is kind of like a cross between a slightly sweet croissant and filo dough, and was it ever good. If I thought I could get them through customs I would bring about 10 of them home. That way my talented husband could figure out how to make it for me at home. The possibilities are endless, I see it as pizza, with eggs and sausage on top, stuffed with veggies. It was that good!
We didn't eat at McDonald's - we just met a group there and I thought it looked interesting in Arabic. My dad tells me their food tastes quite different in Egypt- partially because all their sausage is made from beef. (Followers of Islam do not eat pork.) We saw all the fast food places you can imagine: KFC, Burger King, Pizza Hut, and Hardees, and I'm proud to say we never stopped to eat. I can't imagine going all that way just to get a Quarter Pounder... I had hoped to buy my husband a cookbook while I was there, but the only ones I could find were in Arabic. So now I am searching for recipes on line. If anyone is interested I can post the good ones as I find them.

14 comments:

Manoute said...

It looks yummy :o)
I am sure you can take the fiteer through customs, it is probably only flour, milk and maybe eggs.
Your trip is fascinating, and yes, if you find any interesting recipes, share them :o)

Frank said...

You have discovered one of the real joys of travel, sampling the local cuisine. Sometimes one bite is enough (bird’s nest soup) but often, its the food that comes to mind when looking at photos of a long ago trip.

The WoodLand School said...

Mmmmm ... everything looks delicious! One of my favorite parts about taking a trip is experiencing the local foods. Please share recipes : )

Like you, I have never understood traveling across the world only to eat in an American fast food chain!

Lisa @ Life with 4! said...

my little sister went to India a couple of years ago and her favorite foods were the "dips" for the breads and such. I wonder if they are similar to the ones you had in Egypt?

Pamela said...

What an adventure!!! How fun to go out on a limb and eat Camel. Very brave and yummy! Who knew? Your pictures are amazing, the cook looks delicious.

misschris said...

This all looks sooo good....

susan said...

your mom lives in egypt, why, i cannot remember. what a neat trip and the food did look good. poor camel...if you paper piece you can do the blocks in brenda's book. paper piecing is a no-brainer once you get it. since its a sew on the line deal you dont have to worry about your points and stuff as you would have to if you were cutting out templates and piecing.

denice said...

Goodness, yes, DO post the good recipes you try. I have really enjoyed hearing of your trip!

Betts said...

I love eating food from different places. Good for you for trying camel. If you find any good recipes, do share.

Connie said...

Glad you had such a wonderful visit! :) I like the Egyptian food, but not many of imported foods - everything gets translated rather blandly. Did you try Kushari? Speaking of imports, I just took my kids to the local McDonalds tonight. We hardly ever go, but they were so good today that I got them food in a box. I skipped today, but I like the McArabia, a chicken in a flat bread. It's my favorite. The fries are the same though!

We've loved living in Cairo and it has been a great experience for our family. Glad you got to share the experience too! You got some great photographs during your time here.

Marcia said...

What a memorable Spring Break! Are you headed home soon?

stitching under oaks said...

What a wonderful trip you're having. all that food looks fabulous. I love to try the local cuisine....never tried camel though. (at first I thought you meant carmel and you just forgot your 'r then I realized you meant camel....:))

peaceliving said...

What an amazing adventure! I love trying foreign foods. We're lucky here that there are a lot of foreign restaurants where we can get exotic foods even though our kids are too young for us to travel too far from home!

Jeanette said...

It is so fascinating to see your trip and all the foods that you ate (I am so NOT daring when it comes to food). Loved seeing the camel market and hearing about the people asking you to take their pictures.