Would you like to take a journey discovering a whole new and unique cuisine? join me and learn more about the Saudi Arabian cuisine, its history, geographical impact on preparation or choices of food, and how those affect eating behaviors.
Saudi Arabia consist of many different terrain, with no doubt this has a great impact on the food choices based on the available resources. Interestingly, this gives every region of Saudi Arabia completely unique set of foods and drinks. For this particular reason, you will find it a joyful experience to eat around the kingdom moving from one region to the other.
Let me brief those terrain very simply. The central region is basically a desert land, surrounded by two major coastal regions the eastern and western regions; whereas southern region consist of many green highlands. So you can have a question jumping in your head now: how would the Saudi Arabian cuisine taste like?
Even though all cuisines are available nationally nowadays, let’s agree that every region have a geographical inspired recipes. Therefore; this can explain some of the regional related eating behaviors. For example: some of the central region residents highly dislike seafood, as they did not grew up eating it. Another good example: many people from the coastal regions consider central region food too dry and carbohydrate based compared to their iodine based diet.
One factor that has a high impact on the eating behavior in Saudi, is having parents from two or more different regions. You will find those families more open for different food choices, and more willing to try new things. I am born in family with a central and southern region roots (and other non-Saudi roots too). This makes my background strong in those two regions food more than other areas.
Historically, resources available in the central region were mainly: livestock (in which meats, dairy, and wild ghee and butter comes from) and grains. Whereas it was well known for eastern region residents to grow rice and various fruits and vegetables in their farm lands. And of course coastal areas are well known for their fresh seafood.
Now that you know a lot about our culture, history and geography you are ready to learn about our cuisine. In this article I am going to list the most famous dishes for each region, and those are the dishes that I will be describing in my following articles on weekly basis, so stay tuned for that! The names will sound gibberish with no sense at all at this stage, but I advise you to enjoy trying to pronounce them 🙂
Starting with the central region, famous savory dishes are: Kabsah, Jereesh, Qursaan, and Marqoq. Famous desserts are: date based (Honainee, Geshd and Mohalaa), Kleeja, and Masabeeb.
Southern region dishes are many, but I am more familiar with the sweet ones. Such as: Areekah, Mabthooth, Mashgooth and the tastiest local bread ever Qors or Gors.
Western region is a culture by its own when it comes to food! I am personally not an expert in their dishes. What am sure about is that most dishes there are seafood based such as Sayadiah, and the seafood vegetable casseroles.
I am a big fan of a none seafood based dish called Saleeg and absolutely will write an entire article about it.
Two of my favorite dishes that are shared between all regions: Edam (savory), and loqimat (dessert).
One article will be specified to describe the different ways of preparing rice; as it differs from region to the other as well.
Finally, I will not forget about the local beverages. Mainly beverages common here are hot such as: Geneger Milk, Mint Tea, Habag Tea (basil like herb), and Gesher (coffee peel).
You just used your eyes to read my article, read my next work to allow me stimulate the rest of your senses.
Let the cuisine journey begin!