Thursday, 30 September 2010

Wholesome diet unchanged for thousands of years

Medical experts now advocate people should eat natural foods — fish, poultry, a little meat, less-refined cereals, pulses, vegetable oils, pure butter, vegetables, fruit, nuts, yogurt and cheese. And in fact, these with herbs and spices, are what Middle Eastern cooking is all about, a diet basically unchanged for thousands of years. This is especially true about Egyptian cooking, “particularly southern Egyptian cuisine where cooking methods and ingredients have remained unchanged since the days of the pharaohs”, says Magda Mehdawy, author of “The Pharaoh’s Kitchen”, (AUC Press) and this is due to the relative absence of foreign influences in that region. Consequently, in Upper Egypt and Nubia, the cuisine is simple and uses local vegetables, grains, spices and herbs.

Despite the abundance of food sources, ancient Egyptians ate moderately. An Old Kingdom text addressed to the vizier Kagemni, tells him: “If you sit down to eat with many people, then look at the food with indifference, and if you desire it, then willpower does not take more than an instant and it is shameful for a person to be greedy. One cup will water a whole crop.”

Read more: Arab News

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