Largely inspired by oriental cuisine, Egyptian gastronomy also has some dishes of its own. The Egyptian national dish is the foui: rich or poor, the Egyptian feast of his big red beans marinated in oil and sprinkled with lemon. Another dish very common in the daily menus is rochari, ie noodles with chickpeas. Once a week, the family menu is enriched with a piece of roast or stewed mutton, which the man himself went to buy at the market. As for dessert, he sees the oriental pastries triumph: bakhlawa, konafa or halwa, variations with honey or almonds of a dough all-day generously sprinkled with sugar syrup.
On the occasion of the carillon celebrations, the menu is complicated. Stuffed vine leaves, fried prawns, roasted or stuffed pigeon (hamam) make hors d'oeuvres (mczzé), while chicken or turkey stuffed with rice with water ensures the consistency of the feast.
Some occasions require a mandatory dish. The marinated and advanced fish (fessik) is inseparable from the Spring Festival. For family occasions, we gather around the mulû-hiyya, stew with chicken and herbs of the same name, sticky herbs, surprising for the neophyte.
In the city, the daily meal can be taken at any street corner and at any time. Tiny stalls offer for a few piastres felafelt, Arabic bread, round, without crumbs, between the two crusts of which one stuffs various dishes: onions, tomatoes, peppers which are also the constitutive elements of baladi, salad raised with coriander. Felafell may also contain tamiyya, made from herb dumplings and pounded beans, fried in oil. Specialized shops offer the delicious kebab, roast mutton and saber cut chips. In the streets again, the beverage vendor, fixed or mobile, offers his cane juice, mango extracts, limes.
As for the European who prefers to eat in the restaurant, he will find in the cities establishments that offer more cooked dishes. Basically, the gebna beda, a goat cheese crumbled on raw vegetables that can be eaten as an appetizer or as a salad. Blends of eggplant and mutton, tomato and mutton, drizzled with tahina, sesame sauce, or keschk, the spicy white cheese, offer a range of truly varied dishes.
The meal is usually sprinkled with water or "sico-coula", a name behind which we must recognize the international Coca-Cola. The Egyptians also readily drink laban zabadi, curdled milk, served iced. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited by the Koran. There are however Egyptian wines (for the use of Copts and tourists). Their names are more prestigious than the nectar itself: Cleopatra, Nefertiti, believed Ptolemies for white wines; Omar Khayâm for red wines.
But all Egyptians, Copts or Muslims, agree to prepare a good coffee. It will be zaada, bitter, mazbut, little sweet, or ziada, very sweet. There is something for every taste.