Saturday, September 20, 2014

Food and Beverage

I am always hungry; hungry for food and for knowledge.  It's great to be able to combine my
curiosity to research a topic that can also please my palate.

Arab cuisine (style of cooking) varies among regions. In some areas, such as Yemen, the food can be spicy. In others, such as Egypt, it can be bland. Basic foodstuffs in the Arab world include beans, chickpeas, lentils, vegetables, and rice. In northern Africa, couscous (steamed cracked wheat) replaces rice as a staple. Beans, chickpeas, or eggplants are often cooked into dips. Arabs eat these dips by scooping up mouthfuls with thin bread, called pita in Western countries. Most meals include bread. People also eat eggs and milk products, especially feta and other cheeses and yogurt. They also consume a wide variety of salads and cooked vegetables. A specialty of Arab cuisine is to stuff vegetables with rice or a mixture of rice, meat, and pine nuts. Olive oil, sesame seed oil, or sesame seed paste add flavor to many dishes. Arabs also enjoy chicken, lamb, beef, and fish. These meats are either baked, grilled, or made into a stew.
Fresh and dried fruits are the main desserts. On special occasions, Arabs serve cookies, cakes, puddings, preserved fruits, and sugared almonds. Honey-soaked pastries, such as baklava, are other treats. Water, coffee, and tea—especially mint tea—are the most popular beverages. (Stowasser)
In addition to local favorites and an influx of modern tastes, Muslims follow rules that guide their eating habits called Halal, or unlawful. 

The word halal is often associated with food and drink considered proper for Muslims. In this sense, it is used in much the same way that kosher is used concerning Jewish dietary restrictions. Muslims are forbidden from eating four main kinds of food: (1) pork and pork by-products, (2) animals that were already dead before they were slaughtered, (3) blood and blood by-products, and (4) food that is ritually offered to beings other than God. In addition, Muslims are forbidden from consuming alcohol and other intoxicants. (Campo)
Classic Qatari Dishes

  • Appetizers
    • Hummus – A spread made from ground chickpeas eaten for breakfast, lunch, and
      Lamb Shawarma
    • Shawarma – A traditional Middle Eastern snack made of thin slices of spiced lamb or chicken. 
  • Salads
    • Tabbouleh – A traditional Arab salad made with cracked wheat, parsley, and tomatoes.
  • Main Dishes
    • Chicken Makbous – A mixture of rice and meat, chicken, or fish served at most festive occasions. 
    • Shish Kabob – Pieces of lamb and vegetables served on a skewer.
    • Biriani – An aromatic spiced rice dish with lamb or chicken.
  • Side Dishes
    • Ghuzi – A whole roast lamb served on a bed of rice with pine nuts.
    • Motabel – A purée of eggplant, tahini (sesame paste), and garlic.
  • Deserts
    • Umm Ali – A traditional baked bread pudding with nuts, white raisins, milk, cream,
      Mehalabiya - rice pudding
      almonds, pistachio, and puff pastry. The name means "the mother of Ali."
    • Esh Asaraya – A sweet cheesecake with a cream topping. The name means "bread of the harem."
    • Mehalabiya – A rice pudding with rose water and ground pistachios. 
    • Hamour– A type of fish caught in the Gulf, served baked or cooked with rice.
  • Beverages
    • Tea – Tea is typically taken sweet and without milk.
    • Coffee – Coffee (qahwa) is extremely popular and is served in small cups in coffeehouses, homes, and offices. It is usually made from a lightly roasted Arabian bean, flavored with cardamom, saffron, or rosewater, and taken sweet.


Campo, Juan E. "Halal." Academic World Book. World Book, 2014. Web. 5 May 2014. 

Stowasser, Barbara R. F. "Arabs." Academic World Book. World Book, 2014. Web. 5 May 2014.

World Trade Press. "Qatar: National Cuisine." AtoZ The World. World Trade Press, n.d. Web. 8 May 2014.

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