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Adam Spawton-Rice grew up in Warwickshire in the United Kingdom, but his family has farmed organically in the West Hills of Wales (http://www.themay.co.uk/). His parents spent time in India in their 20s and taught him how to make "some mean veggie dishes!" He has been a vegetarian since 14, when he "phased out meat accidentally whilst my parents went away for a week without me." He was given a budget and bought one portion of fish and spent the rest on noodles, pulse, vegetables and fruit. "Needless to say, I didn't starve, and I've only lapsed occasionally for fish when it's fresh and ethically sourced," he says.

Being a Vegetarian in Egypt

By Adam Spawton-Rice

Although vegetarianism isn't common to Egypt, the diet that ordinary Egyptians eat on a daily basis is full of fresh fruit and vegetables, and there are plenty of meat-free dishes vegetarians like myself can happily eat.

Adam Spawnton-Rice With lots of people catching on to the all-inclusive deals in Egypt's holiday resorts, one common worry is "will they cater to both meat-eaters and vegetarians?"

Having visited Sharm on the Sinai a couple of times now, I've found that even when the food is of a more traditional Egyptian variety, there are always masses of choice. All-inclusive holidays in Egypt http://holidays.easyjet.com/egypt-holidays.htm are among the best deals for vegetarians, with as much, if not more choice than some Mediterranean countries.

What to Eat on a Holiday to Egypt?

Dining out in Egypt normally starts with a selection of hot and cold mezze: a variety of dips and small tapas-style dishes that are best shared with a few people. I always choose Egyptian staples:

  • hummus
  • baba ganoush, a delicious creamy aubergine dip
  • tahini, a paste made from sesame seeds
  • zabadi, a dip of yogurt, mint and grated cucumber similar to Greek tzatiki but without the garlic.
  • Egyptian food shares some of the influences of other North African, Middle Eastern, and Southern Mediterranean countries. The flavors are not as spicy as in Moroccan or Lebanese cuisines, but the ideas are the same, and dishes are based around fresh and seasonal produce, just as in Greece and Turkey.

    On my travels to Egypt I've found these dishes to be ideal for vegetarians and even picky meat-eaters too:

    Foul Medammes
    This tasty dish of mashed broad beans is mixed with cumin, olive oil, and lemon and is often served as part of a selection of mezze. but I also like to eat it stuffed into pita bread for lunch. There's another dish called bosara, mashed fava beans.

    Sambuza
    Tabouleh If you love Greek spanikopita, make sure you try sambuza on your holiday in Egypt. Sambuza are little pastry parcels filled with spinach and white cheese that make a delicious snack at any time of the day. They're quite portable too, but prone to spoiling in the heat!

    Tamaya
    You've heard of falafel? Well, tamaya is the Egyptian equivalent but made from fried chickpeas. I like to eat them stuffed into aish baladi - Egyptian pita bread - with either hummus or baba ganoush.

    Tabouleh
    This is the perfect dish on a hot day, sitting outside under the Egyptian sun. Really refreshing, Tabouleh is a common Middle Eastern salad made with fresh parsley, tomatoes, cucumber and bulgur wheat tossed with garlic and lemon juice. Everything is chopped very finely and is usually served cool.

    Fatayer
    These delicious savoury pastries come with numerous fillings including meat for non-veggies, although I always choose a spinach and pine nut filled fatayer.

    Kosheri Kosheri
    This is an unusual and less well-known Egyptian dish but one of my favorites. Kosheri is a mix of pasta, chickpeas, lentils and bulgur wheat finished off with a spiced tomato sauce. There are various versions of it--some with just lentils, rice and tomato sauce. It's cheap and filling.

    Egyptian Food for Everyone

    I've found throughout my travels that Egyptian food keeps most people happy, whether you're a vegetarian, pescatarian or a meat eater. Fish and seafood is bountiful and cheap, with restaurants serving the freshest catch from the Mediterranean, the Red Sea and the Nile.

    All-inclusive Egypt holidays http://holidays.easyjet.com/all-inclusive/egypt-all-inclusive-holidays.htm have something to suit everyone with a mix of all those vegetarian based dishes I've described as well as non-vegetarian dishes.

    Whether you are vegetarian or not, I challenge anyone not to love the sweet treats in Egypt. Try konafah, a tiny baked noodle-like pastry filled with a sweet nut filling. Halva, found throughout the Middle East and in Greece, is made from tahini. Sweet and crumbly, Egyptian halva often contains pistachio nuts. If you're really getting into the spirit of things, you can wash it all down with a traditional Egyptian drink: sahlab, a thick, milk based drink sprinkled with nuts (think Lassi).


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