Algerians and food  

 

HISTORY AND FOOD

Algeria

Algerian cuisine traces its roots to various countries and ancient cultures that once ruled, visited, or traded with the country. Berber tribesmen were one of the country's earliest inhabitants. Their arrival, which may extend as far back as 30,000 B.C., marked the beginning of wheat cultivation, smen (aged, cooked butter), and fruit consumption, such as dates.




 The introduction of semolina wheat by the Carthaginians (who occupied much of northern Africa) led the Berbers to first create couscous , Algeria's national dish.





The Romans, who eventually took over Algeria, also grew various grains. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, Algeria ranked among the top ten importers of grain (such as wheat and barley) in the world, according to ArabicNews.com.

Muslim Arabs arrived to Algeria in the 600s, bringing exotic spices such as saffron, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and cinnamon from the Spice Islands of eastern Indonesia. They also introduced the Islamic religion to the Berbers. Islam continues to influence almost every aspect of an Algerian's life, including the diet.

Olives (and olive oil) and fruits such as oranges, plums, and peaches were brought across the Mediterranean from Spain during an invasion in the 1500s. Sweet pastries from the Turkish Ottomans and tea from European traders also made their way into Algerian cuisine around this time.

In the early 1800s, Algerians were driven off their own lands and forced to surrender their crops and farmland to the French. The French introduced their diet and culture to the Algerians, including their well-known loaves of bread and the establishment of sidewalk caf├ęs. This French legacy remains evident in Algerian culture. In fact, Algeria's second language is French. but (Arabic is difinitly the official language.)



Cookware and ingredients Algerian cuisine's must have .




berber couscous pot 


The Tajine is a clay dish which we use to bake the traditional bread
the bread is called (matlou3) made from semoulina and yeast.






The clay pot and steamer are the must have cookware in the Algerian traditional kitchen.
as they are frequently used to cook couscous and reshtta, aswell as chakhchoukha.



The tajine  (clay pot) also used in algerian cuisine

the pickled lemon (a moroccan secret ingredient )also used in algerian cuisine.

FOODS OF THE ALGERIANS

Traditional Algerian cuisine, a colorful combination of Berber, Turkish, French, Jewish and Arab tastes, can be either extremely mild or packed with flavorful seasonings. Ginger, saffron, onion, garlic, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, parsley, and mint are essential in any Algerian pantry.

Couscous , the national dish, is often mistaken as a grain itself, rather than pasta. The pasta dough is a mixture of water and coarse, grainy semolina wheat particles. The dough is then crumbled through a sieve to create tiny pellets. Algerians prefer lamb, chicken, or fish to be placed on a bed of warm couscous, along with cooked vegetables such as carrots, chickpeas, and tomatoes, and spicy stews. Couscous can also be used in desserts by adding a variety of ingredients, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, dates, and figs.

No Algerian meal would be complete without bread, normally a long, French loaf. Similar to Middle Eastern customs, bread is often used to scoop food off of a plate or to soak up a spicy sauce or stew. More traditional Berber families usually eat flat, wheat bread. 




Mechoui , a roasted whole lamb cooked on an outdoor spit, is usually prepared when a large group of people gathers together. The animal is seasoned with herb butter so the skin is crispy and the meat inside is tender and juicy. Bread and various dried fruits and vegetables, including dates (whose trees can thrive in the country's Sahara desert), often accompany mechoui .

Beverages such as mint tea are a favorite among all North African countries. Tea is usually offered to visiting guests, though coffee flavored with cardamom is another option. With the abundance of fruits year round, fresh juices are plentiful and children tend to favor apricot nectar. Sharbats , fruit or nut-flavored milk drinks, are popular with all ages, including sahlab , a sweet, milky drink. Traditional Berbers, in particular, prefer drinks made from goat milk, although cow milk is now available. Basbousa (Egyptian semolina cake), tamina (roasted semolina with butter and honey), and sweetened couscous are just a few sweets enjoyed by the Algerians.



algerian cuisine algerian sweets