A journey across Egypt 🇪🇬 – cuisine & culture

In May this year I was lucky enough to Go to Egypt. We stayed in Hurghada and went to Cairo & Mahmya island what an incredible journey I had. From seeing the pyramids to experiencing the culture and local cuisine. I witnessed some amazing things.

I stayed all inclusive at Jasmine palace hurghada. The hotel had 500+ rooms which where nicely furnished, the complex consisted of 6 restraunst and bars and 6 very large swimming pool.

And a private beach with a pier that stretch for miles. It was a paradise.

he food on display was incredible. Everything ranging from meat, fish, veggie, vegan and everything else in between. The main restaurant Dunes had 3 live cooking stations which where a joy to watch.

The desserts & canape stand was always nice to look at. You never wanted to pick It up because the display was so nice, it would have been a shame to ruin it

The salad bar was impressive. Plenty of colour loads of variety to choose from. Ranging from greek salad to shopska salata , feta and watermelon, cous cous and lemon. ( there’s more salad around the corner)

All this food. Plus there is a full hot buffet consisting of more than 10 different dishes ranging from, Fish Meat poultry. Shellfish. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free meals are provided. This is just one restraunst in the complex there are still 5 more. But I didn’t need to experince the other 5 because Dunes had everything to cater for my needs.

That was day one I was overwhelmed with how the variety on displace. Oh I failed to mention they do 6 food services all day. Breakfast, late breakfast, lunch, late lunch, dinner and late dinner, all fully stocked all day.

Everyday the smell of freshly made bread filled this room. From sour dough to Roti. Again the selection was just incredible. The question I asked most was ” when do they find the time ”

Sorry I’m not bragging, I’m trying to make you understand just how much food was on offer.

A few days into our stay in Hurghada we decided to book a trip to a private island 16 miles of the coast of Egypt called Mahmya Island which means ” protected ” but for the life of me I don’t understand why it’s protected as it’s cover in cigarettes & plastic bottles. I’m not painting a great picture but the island was a small paradise. Just stunning.

I’m only mentioning this private island because of the all you can eat buffet. We are on a island 16 miles from nowhere and the buffet was some of the freshist food I’ve ever eaten. The buffet consisted of 12 main dishes and 12 salads.

This is where I found a dish called Ful
Medames which consists of hard boil eggs and stuffed rice & Feva beans. Protein and vitamins galore. It was very nice but didn’t look edible if I’m honest. But tasted great. ( sadly I didn’t take a picture & didn’t want to take one from the internet )

As well as Ful Madames there was a range of English, German & Egyptian foods on offer. The food looked great & fresh on a paradise island, what more could you need…( Again I didn’t take a photo & didn’t want to take from the internet ) …

Typically most Egyptian dishes are vegetarian because of the historically high price of meat and to meet the needs of ” Coptic Christians ” whose religious restriction require vegan diet for most of the year. Also the most commonly used meat in Egypt is Rabbit, chicken, duck, lamb & beef. Fish and Shellfish is common in coastal regions only as transport costs are high due to petrol prices. And offal is served as fast food.

Tea is the national drink of Egypt. But all I saw was beer. Mainly because that’s all I ordered.

So a great day of sun, squba diving & of course food. Brilliant day. All for the cosy price of £60 depending on who you book with.

For our last 2 days we travelled 536 miles across country by bus leaving at 2am we had to travel with armed security due to the threat of ISIS in the desert and I lost count of how many military check points we went through. The jouney itself was very bumpy but we had no issues. we arrived in Cario about 9am with our guild Abdul. ( very good guy )

Driving into Cairo we drove past Alabasta mosque ( or the mosque of Mohammad Ali as it’s known. Is one of the the oldest and largest mosque in the world. Driving further we came too ” the city of the dead ” reason being they called it that is because the people living here are so poor they leave with there dead relatives in a small seperate room underground. 2 million people call this place home.

First stop was Tahrir square which if you know your history was where the Egyptian revolution began in 2011. Incredible place. Gigantic. To think 10 million protested here, fought here & died here was a surreal feeling.

The area is packed with cafe and diners. But because it’s so very hot in Egypt most shops, bars and diners don’t open till the sun goes down. Which believe me is a good idea.

We visited Cairo museum which comsisted of over half a million exibits and another 2 million in stroage.we was lucky enough to see Tutanhamun actual gold mask. I was stood right in front of it. Even managed to take a few pictures when security weren’t looking. Haha.. I win

We spent a few hours in the museum being escorted around by our guild who only showed us the best exhibits. Before we was aloud to wonder around by ourselves. We got lost many times.

Tutankamun gold bed.

Outside cario mesuum

I have hunders of photos just from the museum alone.

After we eventually found our way out of a maze of mummies and priceless artefacts we was back on the road again we headed 15 minutes east to the bank of the Nile river to where we was surprised with a boat cruise down the Nile to a all you can eat buffet in the middle of the Nile.

Cairo tower overlooking the restaurant. A perfect location for lunch. The buffet included a vast selection of meat, vegetarian & vegan. Amazing place to have some incredible food.

Cairo tower in the background standing at 614 feet tall, the largest structure in egypt & north aftica. The great pyramid of Khufu in Giza ” only ” stands at 481 feet tall

Cruising down the Nile.. their was crocodiles in this river but they was all captured & moved to Aswan all 47 thousand of them..

And finally we made it to the pyramids. It’s 2756 miles from my house to the pyramids. One of the 8 wonders of the world. Plus a 563 coach journey just to get to Cairo from Hurghada was all the travelling worth it? Without a doubt. If you go to Egypt then you need to visit Cairo it’s a crowded city with 25 million people and another 2 million living underground but the culture & history of this amazing country & city is worth a look into. I’ve always loved Egypt & have always wanted to go. It was a dream.

Sadly thats the end of the journey. But we still had to travel all the way back to Hurghada 536 miles away which meant another long and bumpy coach journey. The next day after waiting 4 hours for a delayed flight we was England bound.

From what i experienced in Egypt from a cusine & culture prospective was phenomenal . The range of ingredients & how fresh it all was / looked. Egypt is a beautiful country steeped in culture & tradition. Visiting really opened my eyes to different flavours & variety of ingredients used in African & Arab cusine.

My top 5 dishes from Egypt

1. Ful Madames

2. Kushari

3. Hawawshi

4. Beef & lamb kofta

5. Shawama

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this Journey. And find It helpful. Thanks for reading. If you like this blog then you can now sign up for email updates. The hungry chef now comes with google translate so you don’t have to miss a thing. Like and share.

Amazing journey across the Sahara Desert. Thanks for reading

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