A delicious topic
We could not wait to literally sink our teeth into this one. It is a habit of ours to discuss food while eating food. One bites into a falafel and is reminded of a great kebab he once had in Cairo, which in turn reminds him to try that new restaurant downtown. And so the discussion goes on and on. In this blog post we are going to address sensations your palette might experience for the first time.
Western tastes are usually known to hotel and resort chefs. Though, Travel2Egypt attempts to minimize the culture shock, sometimes you just have to embrace it! As such, a combination of western and Egyptian cuisine is common. Breakfast, for example, can include your standard eggs, fruit, and cereal served with beans, local beef, and spices. Do beans seem strange to you? Beans are an Egyptian’s breakfast staple on par with Lucky Charms.
Let’s assume you’ve made it past the beans and are looking forward to lunch. Inquire about a plate of Kushari, Egypt’s ‘national dish’. Kushari can be enjoyed even if you lack a meat tooth because the main ingredients are vegan. A truly multicultural dish, Kushari amalgamates Italian pasta, Latin American tomatoes, Asian rice, and Egyptian brilliance.
We haven’t neglected carnivores either. Alexandrian Sausages and Liver (Sugoq wa Kibdah Iskandarani) simmers in a tomato sauce and is served in a bun. It’s the closest thing to an All-American roast. For dessert, polish off an Egyptian Milk Pudding!
Compliments to the chef
Egypt’s culinary circuit has an erratic rhythm. Cairo is without question the heart of international foodie culture. Wait staff can be expected to speak multiple languages in larger restaurants. What is de rigueur will be dependent on the chef. Here are a few current favorites.
Birdcage: Consistently rated the #1 dining establishment in Cairo. Birdcage is the definition of posh and boasts diverse clientele even by Egyptian tourist standards. Their dishes are quite literally works of art. Does not serve Thai beer despite specializing in Thai food.
Sequoia: An open-air dining experience like no other. Found in the Giza Governorate, Sequoia extensive menu and layout are ideal for dining in large groups. Bring all your friends to this one! You’ll feel like you’re dining with a celebrity’s entourage!
Felfela: Back to Cairo. Felfela has been described as an old-world dining establishment with charming atmosphere. Patrons attribute a certain nostalgia to it that is perhaps best understood by locals. You’ll always leave satiated.
Ingredients native to Egypt
Food in Egypt has had an association with many cultures throughout history. Step aside Mark Antony! Here are ingredients that are one-hundred percent Egyptian.
Beans: Part and parcel with Egyptians daily allotment of food. Can be boiled, mashed, or used as a paste. Bet you guessed this one would be on the list.
Bread: First softened in water and then heated over an open flame. Made from native flours aysh shami or aysh baladi.
Gibna beida and Gibna rumy: Cheese! Everybody loves cheese! Even the lactose intolerant lose cheese despite their protests. The former is similar to feta with the latter being a hard and yellowish. Serve with dates for a hoity toity-treat.
Now, I’m drooling! Where can these wonder foods be found?
The local souk (bazaar), of course. Travel2Egypt offers excursions through several marketplaces as part of our private tours and travel packages. The least of which being the Khan el-Khalili bazaar in Cairo. You’re buying five-star cuisine ingredients AND mingling with the locals.
I hope you have an Instagram account
Because you’ll be admiring Egypt’s sumptuous food as often as you eat it. Friends and acquaintances may protest the constant foodie photo stream, but only because they know you’re dining like a Pharaoh. Extend your generosity by sharing this blog post with them. Cuisine aficionados will sing your praises forever. And, if you’re ready to jet set to Cairo and try all the local eateries, click here to book a 5-star hotel.