For those of you who did not go to Global Fest, you missed a great experience of fantastic Arab food and culture.
I started my journey though the field house and am instantly overwhelmed by the smell of traditionally cooked food. As I made my way around I found myself at the ever present Saudi Arabia section (they commanded an entire corner of the field house). The participants all donned their traditional garb: Thawb, with a Ghutrah atop their head kept in place by a Agal. Immediately I asked for some of their country’s food. I was given this:
A dish of chicken and rice complemented with a fresh salad. I spoke Zaid and Solomon about the contents of the dish. They explained that chicken and lamb are traditional meats in Arab culture. Sometimes they are cooked together, other times they are cooked separately. I was really interested in the spiced used in to dish. Solomon said that traditional Saudi spices come from India. When Indians traveled to Mecca and Medina (the holy cities), they brought with them their spices. It was nothing too over powering, but a little kick leaving the tongue savoring eat bite.
Further down the table was a plate of dates. I have never had anything like this before. I cannot tell if I love them or hate them. The dates were caramel coated. They were soft, yet sticky. The seed was easily removed and discarded. Needless to say, one date is not enough, I’ll be sure to call her back!