Friday, July 2, 2010

Cultural Differences Part two

Ok, well last time I talked about drinking, so I guess it's only right to talk about food for the second in this series.

There are a few basic staples that you will find at almost any Egyptian meal. There is always cheese, and bread. To start off, I have to talk about breakfast. But here "breakfast" isn't until noon. Some people eat a small bowl of cereal before coming in to work, while others will just grab a coffee or tea. But then around noon (at least at work) we all get a break and there is bread, eggs, and cheese always available. I'm not sure if this is a seasonal thing, but included in this is a plate filled with sliced tomatoes and cucumbers. This I absolutely love because tomatoes are one of my favorite fruits/vegetables, and I eat cucumbers all the time at home. Then sometimes I'll be given a mango, or they will cut up a watermelon. Now I have to mention the last item that can normally be found at breakfast. Foul, or Fava Beans, is a part of the national Egyptian breakfast. I started eating it on my second day here and I do prefer the fresh ones to the canned. But in general, Foul (I pronounce it similarly to fuel) is not something I would eat at home. And I really don't like it by itself, but when I eat it in the bread it's really good. I also don't like cheese, not even at home, but when I put some of the cheese on top of the foul in the bread it gets even better. I guess I should have a picture to explain what Egyptian breakfast is like, but by noon I am usually starving and just want to eat.

Then lunch is after work, which can be anything. And it typically will be wrapped up in bread. If it's a delivered meal, I've gotten both subs and containers filled with different types of meat and fries. There is this one fast food place in particular that people seem to like called CookDoor. I have no idea why they have that name but the food is good! Last time we got food from there I had a chicken sub. They also offer beef and seafood ones too.
Photo by Nashaat Neshan

For dinner it's typically fried food or pasta. Both delicious but outside of my typical healthstyle. Fish is also a popular meal and one of my favorite dishes so far was this beef goulash type stew. One side dish that most families cook is this amazing minced spinach soup that you pour over rice. There's a specific name for it, but I can't even begin to guess on how to spell it. And I really like the spices that they have here. Sometimes it can be a bit to spicy for me, but the vast majority of the time everything is just really tasty.
Photo by Nashaat Neshan; Sesame sauce

And of course, everything that I would eat in America is available here. Especially of the fast food variety. This is all I can think of, so...ff you have any questions for me about the food, feel free to ask!

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