Top 5 Egyptian Food Facts

A lot has been going on in Egypt these days.  It's a time of civil unrest, and my heart goes out to those in Egypt during the turmoil.  As a food lover, I relate to people through food in good times and bad, no matter where I am in the world.  Especially having spent time in Egypt, I think of all those as they work towards more freedom.

With the country in everyone's thoughts right now, I  think it's important to remember that Egypt has long been a flourishing culture, which has contributed many foods to the world's cuisine.  Here are my top 5 amazing food facts about Egypt.

  1. Contemporary food in Egypt reflects it's long standing history as a cultural crossroads.  The cuisine incorporates food from all the major empires and contemporary nations.  You can find North African, Lebanese, Syrian, European influences and more in the cuisine.

  2. The food of Egypt has incorporated global influences, but has also contributed many foods that we rely on today.  Bread is one staple for which we should thank the Ancient Egyptians.  They made bread with emmer wheat, and also with barley.  Though it most likely had a very different texture from modern Egyptian bread, it was an important food. Try my recipe for Honey Bread.
  3. Did you know that beer originated in Egypt?  Made with barley, Ancient Egyptian beer had nutritious properties, and was a precious commodity.  The beverage was cloudy and resembled gruel more than the refreshing drink we know today.  Try this beer cocktail.
  4. We often think of the Pyramids, but not the men who built them.  Food played an important role in producing those wonders because the builders of the pyramid were paid in bread, beer and onions.
  5. Of personal significance is the origin of Foie Gras, an Egyptian process dating back to 2500 BC.  The Egyptians began keeping birds for eating, and deliberately force-fed them to fatten the meat.