Food was occasionally used as payment for ancient Egyptians — today it’s used as a way to bond and spend quality time. If you’re traveling to Egypt, here are five things you should know about the cuisine and culture.
1. There are countless snacks between main meals.
2. If you’re eating alone, you must offer to share.
Sharing is an Egyptian custom, and it’s not usually a choice when it comes to food. If one person’s meal comes first at a restaurant, your dining partner will either insist you have some or give you the entire plate and wait for the next one.
3. Tea in the morning, tea at night.
Egyptians love their tea, and it’s a custom to drink it both in the morning and at night. In the morning it’s mixed with milk, and families often sit together and enjoy tea and biscuits.
4. All the food is delicious — but a few common delicacies are suited to a specific taste.
Common Egyptian foods include grape leaves stuffed with beef and rice, cooked fava beans with vegetable oil and meat cooked inside a pita pocket. But be sure to keep an open mind because stuffed pigeon and stuffed beef intestine are also popular.
5. It’s hard to be gluten-free.
Bread is a staple of the Egyptian diet — it’s used as a utensil itself with meals like soup made with molokheya leaves.