Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Interlude. Food.

Okay, I confess. I ate like a pig on this trip and for a pittance!! Familiar food items like kabobs, felafel, shawarma, hummus, baba ghanouj and tabouleh were everywhere to be found, cheap as can be and ever so tasty. Ordinarily, I'm not fond of lamb but what I ate in Egypt was so wonderful, I've become a convert!

I also learned to appreciate labneh which is a yogurt based cheese that was often the spread in sandwiches and showed up at the breakfast table in Jordan.

Mint tea (infused with sprigs of real mint), fresh squeezed lemonade (made from tiny Egyptian lemons, crushed skin and all in a blender and then filtered) and Karkade (pronounced "KAR-kah-day"), a tart, bright-red hibiscus beverage that can be served hot or chilled soon became favorites. I also got hooked on Egyptian potato chips (a favorite munchie of the group on our long rides in the mini-van). As for sweets, there was baklava (didn't know there were so many different varieties) and pistachio nougat topped with apricot puree (I bought a bag to be shared among the group but Daniel, Lei and I devoured it all!)

...and last but not least, the ayish (you know it as pita) - best eaten when warm as Alex and I had a chance to do on our tour of a bakery in Aqaba, Jordan and as we all had a chance to do for breakfast in the Bedouin camp in the Wadi Rum, Jordan. That ayish was toasted on the coals of a wood fire.

Lei was really good at recording the food that we ate so here are Lei's reflections on the foods of Egypt and Jordan.