Friday 3 of February, 2023
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8 Ways Egyptians Get Food Horribly Wrong

We Egyptians love our food, but there are certain things that Egyptians just can't seem to get right...

Staff Writer

In a country where the rate of obesity often hovers around 45%, it goes without saying that Egyptians love food. Food is a uniting influence. If civil war breaks out in Egypt, you can be sure that peace will be negotiated over a bowl of bamya. But how is it possible, in a country where our blood runs red with salsa, that we can get so much of what food is all about wrong...

Sushi

Now, this is kind of cheating, because sushi is a cuisine that has been bastardised by every culture that doesn’t start with a “J” and end with “apan”, but Egyptians have managed to take it to a whole different level. What has to have happened to someone in their life that they think that putting mango and mayonnaise on a piece of tuna is a good idea? I’m assuming that it involves their family being broken apart due to an affair with a piece of salmon sashimi, or their father was brutally murdered by a shrimp uramaki. With sushi, simple is better, which is something that Egyptians don’t understand, unless it comes to...

Pizza 

Since pizza’s glorious invention in Naples, the definition of what it is has not changed; a flatbread piece of dough covered in mozzarella and marinara sauce, and then whatever toppings you might want to add. Genius in its simplicity, it seems like the kind of thing that you couldn’t possibly get wrong, but Egyptian people seem to take that as a challenge. Firstly, they use what appears to be a minimal amount of mozzarella, supplementing it with a massive amount of low-quality cheddar, and often gebna roumy too. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, the marinara sauce, the cornerstone of a good pizza, is nowhere to be found. Instead, a pair of off-brand ketchup packets are thoughtlessly thrown into the box, as if that is an alternative. It’s like ordering something that is supposed to come with caviar, and instead, the chef cracks a rotten egg over the top of it.

Steaks

Again, something that is elegant in its simplicity is the steak.  A dish that has been providing sustenance to humanity ever since the first time pre-historic  man was able to utter the phrase “medium rare.” A good steak is rubbed in a mix of sea salt and black pepper, and cooked until the outside is finished, and the middle of the cut is pink. Step in Johnny Egyptian to mess it up. They take a cut so thin that it may actually be from a cow’s eyelid, throw it in a bottomless pit of damp pepper, pull it out, and cook it on a high heat until the steak looks like something that crawled out of the BP oil spill. Utterly flavourless, and it feels like you’re eating a car-tyre.

Fast food in general

There’s a reason that McDonald’s in most other countries don’t provide a delivery service. The concept itself is rather appetising; a delicious hot burger and crispy fries, as well as an ice-cold fountain drink lovingly delivered to your front door. The reality, however, is rather different. The burger always seems to be cold in the middle, the fries are stale and oily, and the ice in your drink has fully melted, leaving you with some sort of hideous cola/water cocktail.

Bechamel

There’s a time and place for béchamel. It’s one of the cornerstones of European cooking, and a base for all kinds of different sauces and dishes, but there’s still a time and a place. Outside of the standard macarona béchamel, Egyptian cooks seem to think that béchamel is the be-all and end-all of giving your dishes a classy touch. We’ve all been there; you order some sort of simple chicken dish at a restauraunt, and what you get is a dry, flavourless chicken breast, but the chef has compensated by drowning it in a thick, clearly microwaved sauce that still has pieces of flour floating in it. Word of advice; if your food is shitty, béchamel shouldn’t act as a bandage on the wound...

Cake

We all love cake, and we all have our favourite little bakery or store that we go to for all our dessert needs. We also tend to forget that the only reason we keep going to this place is because every other place within an hour of your house serves burnt, dry, flavourless bricks that would be better used for clubbing someone to death rather than eating. There’s nothing wrong with having a glass of milk with a piece of cake, but if I need the glass of milk so that it doesn’t feel like I’m eating the smouldering ruins of an apartment block, there’s something wrong with your goddamn cake.

Chinese food

Can I just make a small recommendation? If you don’t understand how a specific ingredient works, don’t just add a bucket of it and hope for the best.  Case in point; MSG. MSG is supposed to be a light touch added to Chinese dishes to add an element of the flavour umami. However, the “chefs” in Chinese restaurants around the capital seem to think that if a little of something is good, a metric crap-ton of it will be even better. Now, what we have instead is sweet and sour chicken that is so intensely salty that you will immediately chug whatever drink is put in front of you. But watch out, because of...

Ice in drinks

There’s a reason I’m ordering a soft drink instead of water. It’s because if I don’t stress the fact that I want bottled water, you’re going to give me a glass of tap water that tastes like chlorine and hatred. But that is entirely pointless if you’re going to put ice in the drink anyway, because I highly doubt that you’ve poured a bottle of Dasani into the ice tray, so that ice is nothing more than a ticking time bomb to diarrhoea...