Sunday, November 16, 2008

Eating Like a King or Queen; Traditional United Arab Emirates Style

I recently went to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and visited the specific Emirates of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. It was my first time in the Middle East and a very interesting experience. Not to mention I dined extremely well in the many restaurants available to us foreigners.

However, what I really enjoyed was visiting some of the historical places in and around the UAE. I learned a bit about how the Arabs used to live, what their homes were like, and how they used to eat.

I took some photos at the Al Ain Palace Museum, the formal home of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Men and women had separate areas in the palace to live, hang out, and eat. Traditionally, people would sit on the floors of rooms on pillows. However, as you can see below, the Sheikh had seats. I'm sitting on his "throne" in this photo.

In the middle of the room, there would be mats with large woven cones sitting on top. Food would be served on these mats in large dishes. Eating was communal, and it was (and still is) very important to eat with your right hand. The cones protected the food underneath from insects.

The coffee pot is one of the national symbols of the UAE. If you are a guest entering a home, you will always be offered coffee. If you take a look at the coinage of the UAE, the dirham, you'll notice a coffee pot on it.

Lastly, I just wanted to show you a date palm. I had never really thought about it, and didn't realize that dates grew on huge palms. They ripen and dry naturally on the trees, and are ready to eat as soon as they have been picked. Yum!


Sarah Phillips said...

Tara! Your recent trip certainly takes the cake! I love to read about your adventures! How is culinary school? Your baking buddy, Sarah Phillips

Anonymous said...

that looks so fun!

Anonymous said...

that looks so fun!

Packers And Movers Bangalore said...

Nice post!..good information,it is really really impressed me alot and i just loved it.Thanks for posting such an informative content: Local Packers And Movers Bangalore

Packers And Movers Delhi said...

Get Shifting/Relocation Quotation from ###Packers and Movers Delhi. Packers and Movers Delhi 100% Affordable and Reliable ***Household Shifting Services. Compare Transportation Charges and Save Time, Verified and Trusted Packers and Movers in Delhi, Cheap and Safe Local, Domestic House Shifting @
Packers And Movers Delhi

Packers and Movers Gurgaon said...

Packers and Movers Gurgaon Provide Reliable, Safe and Certified Service Provider list, Get Free ***Best Price Quotaition and Compare Charges. ???Hassle free Household Shifting Services, High Quality packing Material, Office Relocation, Car Transportaion, ###Local and Domestic Shifting Service @
Packers And Movers Gurgaon

Packers And Movers Bangalore said...

Packers And Movers Bangalore Local Household Shifting Service, Get Free Best Price Quotes Local Packers and Movers in Bangalore List, Compare Charges, Save Money And Time at
Local Packers And Movers Bangalore