The classic Egyptian breakfast consists of two main courses: fula and felafile (or taameya).
Ful are boiled beans in a sour sauce, with spices and herbs, sometimes with the addition of finely chopped vegetables. Filafili are vegetarian cutlets made from grated legumes. In addition to this, a plate of tehina sauce (ground sesame and nuts with olive oil, spices) is served, in which during the meal you need to dip eis bread, fresh vegetable salad, gebna salad (cheese like cheese mixed with vegetables). All this should be washed down with cold hibiscus tea from the petals of the so-called Sudanese rose, which we better know as “Pharaonic tea”. On weekdays, the Egyptians do not have a very tight lunch. The most popular lunch dish is koshar. The name is a little intimidating, but there is nothing nightmarish about this dish. It’s just boiled beans, beans, lentils and other grains mixed with fried onions. All this is filled with a fiery liquid from the bottles supplied right there. The Egyptians, like fakirs, accustomed to sharp objects, swallow their portion. Europeans do it with apprehension, with tears in their eyes. In Cairo, you can pay only 1 pound for an impressive portion of koshara.
If you have time, you can have a more substantial snack, for example, fish tagine (assorted seafood baked in a pot).
To spite all modern nutritionists, the Egyptians make the main emphasis in their diet on dinner. Dinner for them is the longest process. To begin with – cold and hot appetizers: gebna (something like fried dumplings with cheese), vegetable salads, basturma, stewed eggplants with garlic irresistibly affecting Europeans. Then the main dishes, for example: fried pigeon stuffed with porridge (pigeons are specially bred here for gastronomic purposes), a hot dish – kebab jacket, accompanied by a cup of rice. Kofta is minced beef sausages, kebab is the same barbecue, but not marinated. In the classic version, all this is cooked on an open fire.
According to TOP-MEDICAL-SCHOOLS, the restaurant menu in the hotels is worked out in European style with the addition of Egyptian dishes. Here you can taste Chinese, European and Oriental cuisine. The assortment includes corn flakes with milk, fruit salads, jams, juices, Egyptian beans, meat and vegetable snacks, mashed potatoes. The crown breakfast is scrambled eggs or scrambled eggs with various additives (fresh tomatoes, onions, peppers, cheese, sausage). This simple dish is very cunningly prepared by the chef in the presence of vacationers, demonstrating circus juggling skills with a frying pan. For tourists who cannot do without Russian cuisine even abroad, pancakes with honey and chocolate are specially prepared. Along with the usual snacks for Russians – sausages, cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, eggplant, cabbage, carrots, potatoes – there are special Egyptian dishes – okra, koshari, mokhschi, fuli, dolma, fatta, oriental sweets – baklava, kunafa, basbusa. Especially popular are sea dishes of shrimp, squid and octopus. For dessert, a variety of pastries soaked in honey syrup and sprinkled with grated nuts are presented, in which the Egyptians are great masters.
Tap water cannot be drunk in Egypt due to the presence of Escherichia coli in it. Only bottled water should be consumed. You can buy it in a store where it is cheaper – 1.5 liters – $1.5 – or buy it in hotel restaurants, where it is correspondingly more expensive.
From time immemorial in Egypt they drank homemade wine made from grapes and rose petals. It was even given to children. It was a tradition to start the dinner with wine, which was held at 5-6 pm after the heat of the day subsided. The population of Egypt now practically does not drink. The Koran forbids the consumption of alcohol. Egyptian beer Stela is popular – from 8 to 12 pounds per bottle.
The traditional drink of Egypt is a red-colored nectar called Karkade. This drink is prepared from the petals of the plant of the same name. It quenches thirst well and is useful in all respects.
Abu Simbel (Egypt)
Abu Simbel is a small town almost on the border with Sudan. It is located on the territory of Nubia, a historical region in the middle reaches of the Nile. There are two unique temples in Abu Simbel, Ramses II and his wife Nefertiti, which are among the most outstanding monuments of ancient Egyptian architecture.
The temples were built in the 13th century BC. in honor of the victory over the Hittites. Since the troops of the pharaoh were patronized by three gods – Amon, Ra and Ptah, Ramses ordered to depict them, and at the same time himself, in facade statues, and to give the gods their own appearance. So on a wide terrace at the entrance to the temple, four 20-meter statues appeared, sitting on the throne of the pharaoh. Inside the temple consists of four sequentially decreasing rectangular halls with auxiliary side rooms. Everyone was admitted into the first hall, only the “noble” into the second, and the priests into the third. Only the pharaoh himself and his retinue entered the last small hall. There are four sculptures made according to the same principle as at the entrance to the temple: the gods Amon, Ra and Ptah with the faces of Ramses II and the pharaoh himself. Twice a year – February 22 and October 22 – in Abu Simbel you can observe a unique light performance: when at 6 o’clock in the morning the first ray of the sun penetrates through the entrance portal and illuminates the 65 m long corridor leading to the cult niche of the sanctuary, it does not even touch the statue of the god Ptah for a second, and lingers on Amon and Ra for 6 minutes to then, for 12 minutes, brightly illuminate Ramses II.
Next to the large temple, a smaller temple was carved into the rock, dedicated to the goddess Hathor, who was given the features of Queen Nefertiti. There are deep niches in the facade of the temple, in which six figures of Ramses II and Nefertiti, more than 10 meters high, are installed. The interior rooms are richly decorated with colored bas-reliefs.
These two temples are probably the most explored sites of Ancient Egypt. In the late 1950s, during the construction of the Aswan hydroelectric power station, Abu Simbel was on the territory of the future reservoir. Various projects were developed to save the world-famous monument, including the creation of an underwater glass dome over the temples. But as a result, they decided to dismantle all the structures of the complexes and move them to a higher place. This unparalleled action under the auspices of UNESCO was carried out in four years, and experts from fifty countries of the world took part in it.