Typical Dish

Al-Iskandariyah, Alexandria, Egypt

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Al-Iskandariyah, or Alexandria in English, is a city in Egypt located on the Mediterranean coast. With a population of over 5 million people, it is the second-largest city in Egypt after Cairo. Known for its rich history, architecture, and cultural diversity, Alexandria is also renowned for its unique cuisine and beverages.

The city's inhabitants lead a relatively relaxed lifestyle, enjoying the beach and the sea. Alexandria has a vibrant night life, with numerous restaurants, cafes, and bars open late into the night. As in many parts of Egypt, the typical meal times in Alexandria are breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with a late afternoon snack in between. The distribution of food throughout the day can vary depending on the person's work schedule, with some people having a small breakfast and larger lunch, while others may opt for a larger breakfast and lighter lunch.

One of the most famous dishes in Alexandria is seafood. Given its location on the Mediterranean coast, it is no surprise that fish, shrimp, and other seafood play a significant role in the local cuisine. One of the most popular seafood dishes is Sayadiya, a spicy and fragrant fish and rice dish. The ingredients typically include white fish, rice, onions, garlic, tomato paste, and a blend of spices such as cumin, cinnamon, and coriander. The dish is usually garnished with fried onions and served with a side of salad.

Another seafood dish worth mentioning is Fattah. It consists of a layer of rice, bread, and fried fish, topped with a spicy tomato sauce and garnished with chopped parsley and coriander. The ingredients for the tomato sauce typically include tomatoes, onions, garlic, and a blend of spices.

Apart from seafood, Alexandria is also known for its Koshari, a traditional Egyptian dish that originated in the city. It is a hearty vegetarian dish made with a mix of rice, lentils, chickpeas, and macaroni, topped with a spicy tomato sauce and garnished with fried onions. Some variations may also include fried cauliflower, carrots, or chickpeas.

One of the most popular beverages in Alexandria is Qamar Al-Din, a sweet and refreshing drink made from apricot juice. The apricot juice is mixed with water and sugar and left to ferment for a few days to develop a tangy flavor. The drink is typically served cold and garnished with fresh mint leaves.

Another popular drink is Sahlab, a creamy and warming beverage made from orchid root powder, milk, and sugar. The mixture is heated and stirred until it thickens and then flavored with rose water and garnished with chopped nuts such as pistachios and almonds.

Alexandria is a city with a rich culinary history and cultural diversity. Its proximity to the sea has heavily influenced the local cuisine, with seafood dishes being a staple in many households. The relaxed lifestyle and vibrant night life contribute to the city's unique dining culture, with a wide range of options available for locals and tourists alike. Whether it is Sayadiya, Fattah, Koshari, Qamar Al-Din, or Sahlab, the flavors of Alexandria's food and beverages are sure to leave a lasting impression.