Discovering The Local Food of Saudi Arabia

The life of the people in Saudi Arabia revolves around the religion of Islam. It is the reason why they have two holiest sites in the country, the Mecca and Medina, as they have a public practice of praying five times a day, daily. The law and culture of Saudi Arabia are founded under Islamic principles and even their dietary issues should be followed to avoid punishments. Though there are already fast food chains available in Saudi Arabia, Saudis still prefer to eat local food thus leaving fast food chains to foreigners.

Saudis strictly follow the Islamic dietary laws that provide sets of rules of what a Muslim should eat in his or her everyday life. Unlawful foods not to be eaten are stated in the holy book of Muslims called Qur’an. The law prohibits a Muslim from taking alcoholic drinks, eating or drinking blood, especially eating unclean animals for meat such as swine, mice, bats, monkeys, canines, and felines. Saudis value their healthy diet because like what was stated in the holy book, overeating is a sin. Food and cooking hygiene is definitely an important part of the Islamic law, as it is needed for a land animal to be properly slaughtered by a Muslim, Christian or Jew.

One of the traditional and local foods most Saudis eat is their flat bread called fatir and kimaje, which are used at every meal in. An authentic fatir is made with toasted barley flour, baked in a warm oven over a metal mixing bowl for 3 to 4 minutes while kimaje is bread served warm from the oven used to scoop up other foods. Saudis also eat hawayij, which is a spice blend that can be kept for a long time in a well-sealed container. The kingdom can now support most of its needs especially in agriculture where they can cultivate most local foods like rice, wheat, barley, tomatoes, melons and dates for the country’s supply. Most common meats eaten by Saudis are chicken and lamb. The local but popular recipe made of chicken or lamb is called Kultra. Saudis prefer to use chicken for their main meat meal of the day which is lunch, making them rank as the highest consumer of broiler chickens in the world. They usually serve lamb to honor guests and holiday feasts that makes them the world’s largest importer of live sheep.

Since alcoholic drinks are prohibited in Saudi, Arabic coffee and fruit drinks are popular alternatives to alcohol. There are also available alcohol-free beers and cocktails but only served in hotel bars. Because of Islamic dietary law prohibiting alcoholic drinks, there are no bars in Saudi Arabia but people can still enjoy the nightlife with restaurants and hotels in the country. Saudis loved eating or drinking dairy products such as camel’s, sheep’s or goat milk, which has been the principal food of Bedouin diet since in the early years of Saudi Arabia. Saudis can eat Yogurt alone but it can also be used in sauces or made into a drink popularly called as lassi.

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