Friday, June 8, 2012

Photos: Food in Egypt: camel meat, koshari, Om Ali, fast food, etc.

Breakfast in my hotel the first morning. This cost me 50 Egyptian Pounds (at this point there is about $8 or 6Euro to the Egyptian Pound.) It was an okay breakfast, but terrible price, and i did not make this mistake again.

Koshari (Koshary, i've seen several spellings.)
Before going to Egypt several of my friends recommended i eat this. They were so right! It is an awesome, healthy meal of pasta, rice, lentils, some sort of crunchy fried leaves and tomato sauce. Delicious, and super cheap: this plate cost me 5Egyptian pound, less than $1, and it made me very full for many hours!:-)

A new friend there in Giza recommended me this particular Koshari shop. As you can see, it was quite a local place!
 i ate here several times and had a good experience each time!:-)

Egyptian beer.
i found the Egyptian beers to be available nearly everywhere. It's fairly low quality stuff (think PBR or Schlitz), but sometimes that's exactly what one needs after a day in the Sahara desert!:-)
Egyptian fast food rip off at Hardees.
My Egyptian tour guide, in an attempt to be helpful, informed me that the meals in my hotel were too expensive. She suggested i walk down the road to where there was a McDonalds and a KFC. These places did seem always busy, and they actually provided home delivery, as you can see here below. On my final day in Giza i got curious about how expensive this fast food was compared to local stuff. i couldn't bring myself to go to those monstrosities, so i told myself Hardees was a step up. This meal cost 30Egyptian Pounds, or 6 times as much as the delicious, healthy koshari i got at the local place. Curiosity satisfied, i won't be back there again!
McDelivery in Giza, Egypt. Blah.
Om Ali.
 i ordered this Om Ali from the dessert menu of the hotel room service menu not knowing what it was. Turned out to be delicious! It was a warm, creamy soup with raisins, almonds, coconut, and i don't know what else in it! Fantastic!:-)
Cold oatmeal with walnuts and apple in the Cairo airport.
 My flight back to Rome left at 9.30am, so i was out of the hotel by 6.30am - no time for breakfast. So i was thrilled in the airport to find such fresh, whole, delicious breakfast food for something like $2!
Vegetarian lunch on EgyptAir.
i long ago learned that ordering the vegetarian meal on flights a) usually gets your meal to you sooner than the others and b) eliminates the decision between mystery meat and dried out chicken. i was pretty thrilled with this meal, it was all fresh and delicious:-)
Roadside stand in Giza for camel meat.
While giving me a ride to The Light and Sound Show in Giza, my driver Sharif mentioned that many Egyptians eat camel meat. i immediately responded, "We have to do that. Some place not-touristy. Tomorrow." This is the place he took me to.
Camel liver being prepared in Giza, Egypt.
Turns out that by "camel meat" he meant the liver and heart of the camel. Here is the man of the shop preparing camel liver for me to eat!

Preparing Egyptian camel liver and camel heart.
So we get to this shop not too far from the tour entrance to the Great Pyramid, on a road leading out of town. The guy in white runs the place, and he's got a barrel of hearts and livers there next to him. He and the young boy prepare a sauce of oil, tomato, peppers and spices and saute the meat in that.

Camel liver and camel heart sauteed in oil based tomatoe sauce with Egyptian spices, in Giza.
i was amazed by how tender the liver especially was. It was really heavy and gamey, the taste was strong and good. And the sauce was fantastic. The heart meat was a bit more chewey and had some difficult pieces of fat stuck to it, but i ate that too and it was pretty good. i paid 50 Egyptian pounds, or about $15 for more than the two of us could eat - and i'll do it again every time i get back to Egypt!:-)
Eating camel heart and camel liver family style!
Here is my driver and new friend Sharif digging into our lunch of sauteed camel organs! It was actually really good! As you see, we ate it by scooping up the meat and veggies in chunks of that surprisingly fresh and tasty unleavened bread.

Sharif has been a tour driver his entire adult life, but told me that no tourist had ever eaten camel meat with him before. i told him i wasn't surprised. But then, after i thought about it, i wondered if i put this on the internet if more people might call him interested in doing exactly that on their Egyptian vacation to Giza or Cairo. Interested? Give him a call, his Egyptian cell phone number is: 011.4501.4803.
Egyptian tea.
And then there is the omnipresent tea. In Egypt, it seemed anytime you go anywhere, do anything, or meet anyone, most likely someone is going to offer you tea. i made habit of always accepting. What they called "Egyptian tea" was quite strong and bitter in taste, but sugar helped in the fresh mint in this case was ideal. Sometimes there were lighter, flavored teas, but i preferred the local strong stuff most of the time:-)

All photos by the author.

5 comments:

  1. I can honestly say that I probably wouldn't eat camel liver, but that's only because I don't like liver, the heart I would try. I've never had heart before. And the Koshari looks like cat food with tomato sauce on it, but, the ingredients sound delicious together. :) I think I may try to make that one. Also, I can't believe McDonalds delivers, that's pretty crazy, but if I ate Micky D's I would rather have my heart attack at home LOL!

    Oh, and PBR is awesome, so I would probably love that beer haha!

    Looks like you had a very awesome food experience!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Food in Egypt is so tasty and I heard Camel liver is the healthiest type of liver, some people even eat it raw :s.

    When I was in Cairo, I always used Yadig.com to know the best places to eat and visit from people's reviews

    Just wanted to share with you guys, it was super useful.

    ReplyDelete
  3. If you want a romantic place for the dinner then you must book Dhow cruise dubai its a great place not only for the families but also for the friends.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It looks like you had a wonderful FOOD trip. I love the Roti Bread but I'm not sure if I can eat those camel organs. :D

    I plan to book flights to Egypt very soon. Can't wait to see the Pyramids!

    ReplyDelete
  5. i just came back from egypt where i ate camel liver with sharif! hahah he's still at it! had him driving me around for 10 days, good bloke, so funny to find a picture of him just from googling camel liver! dont know if this is an active page.. just had to leave a comment for sharif

    ReplyDelete

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