8 Interesting Facts about Egyptian Food

8 Interesting Facts about Egyptian Food

Like the country itself, Egyptian cuisine has a fascinating history. Some of today’s recipes go back as far as 5000 years and traditional Egyptian food has been influenced by many of its neighbors over the millenia including the Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, and Ottomans.

The River Nile is Egypt’s lifeline. In a country which largely consists of desert, the Nile has allowed the Egyptians to grow a whole range of different foods. Each year the river would flood and bringing fertility to large areas of land.

Eating in Egypt is an absolute pleasure and no trip there is complete without trying a selection of traditional Egyptian dishes. Thankfully traveling there has never been simpler, the Egypt online visa form only takes a few minutes to complete and travel costs are economical.

Here are 8 Egyptian food facts which will give you an insight into the country’s culture and show you what you have to look forward to. They include ancient Egyptian food facts as well as information about contemporary gastronomy.

Beer Was Popular in Ancient Egypt

Modern Egypt is a conservative country so it may seem surprising that the ancient Egyptians drank beer in large quantities. One of the main reasons why they drank beer was because fresh drinking water was not as readily available as it is today. Drinking beer was much safer than drinking river water. Beer in Egypt today is still brewed with quenching thirst in mind, it is still made with barley and is light.

The Left Hand Should Not Be Used for Eating

Table manners vary throughout the country and between different religions. Around 90% of Egypt’s population is Muslim and there are some guidelines visitors should follow. The left hand is considered to be unclean and should not be used for eating. In addition, alcohol and pork should not be asked for and feet should be tucked under the table.

Meat Is a Luxury Item in Egypt

Historically, meat has been expensive and less common in cooking. The typical food of Egypt is largely vegetable-based and it is an honor to be invited to eat with a family in their home and served meat. Egypt is an incredible destination for vegetarians as there is an abundance of delicious, rich, traditional meat-free dishes.

Food Was Used As a Currency

Archaeologists have discovered that food was used as a form of currency in the ancient Egyptian era. Workers were often paid in Egyptian food and drink such as bread and beer. Standardized sizes and recipes were designed to ensure the uniformity of value. Written orders for grain could be used to pay merchants and tax collectors.

More than 6,000 Restaurants Have Opened in Cairo since 2011

The restaurant industry in the Egyptian capital is booming and more and more foodies are using their Egyptian tourist visa to head to Cairo. Egyptian food is changing and there is a continually increasing demand for new food concepts. It is now filled with new exciting restaurants which merge the old with the new, like the city itself.

Fatta Is Eaten on Special Occasions

Fatta is an incredibly delicious (and calorific!) dish which is typical during religious festivals. It is also a typical Egyptian wedding food. It consists of fried bread, covered with rice, a piece of meat and vinegar soup, tomato sauce, and large pieces of meat. It is hard to find Fatta outside of special occasions so if you see it, taste it when you have the chance.

Poor People Did Not Starve in Ancient Egypt

The Pharaohs did not restrict access to food. Grain was stored centrally and shared with the poor and people could also fish in the Nile and gather eggs freely. Poor people had food except in times of drought, when most people suffered except the very wealthy.

Besarah Dates Back Thousands of Years

Besarah is made from a creamy, green mash of fava beans, leeks, green pepper, chilli, garlic, parsley, and cilantro. It is topped with onions and served with bread. The name of the ancient Egyptian food is still very popular today and its name derives from the hieroglyphics ‘bees’ (meaning cooked) and ‘oro’ (meaning beans). It is one of the many delicious dishes you can try in Egypt so apply for an Egypt online visa in just a few minutes and start planning your trip.

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