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cairo-fiteer with eshta wa assal copy

Yesterday, my new best friend (I love making new best friends), Susan Hack, wrote up a post about our koshari meal at Abu Tareq in Cairo and other street foods I like and she rightly said that my favourite, together with koshari, is fiteer, so, I thought I would post about an amazingly good fiteer I had recently (sadly not with Susan) in Sayida Zeynab. I had seen and tasted almost eveything I wanted to in the two days I was in Cairo except for fiteer, so, I asked where was a good fatatri (fiteer maker) and was sent to one that did not look promising, dark and dingy and without any character but it was the only one and I decided to give it a try. And boy am I glad I did. Their fiteer was just perfect and even though I was going to lunch an hour later, I couldn’t resist eating far more than just the taste I had promised myself. I nearly finished the simple fiteer topped with eshta (Arabic clotted cream which in Cairo is made with buffalo milk) and honey in the top picture and had far too much of the fiteer mushaltat (several fiteers, one inside the other) in the picture below. Totally scrumptious.

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tripe & flies copy

Every now and then I find myself in a rather disgusting food market where I find beauty amongst the horror. A few years ago, it was in Karachi where I couldn’t believe the number of flies swarming inside a tiny fish stall but they looked beautiful against the stone counter and the fish. And again the other day, there was beauty amidst the filth at an offal stall in Sayida Zeynab in Cairo, where I noticed a piece of honeycomb tripe hanging over a red tub with flies feeding on it. Naturally, there was nothing appetising about the scene but the pattern of the pale tripe with the black flies dotted over it was just as beautiful as it was repulsive, so, I took a picture, which I cropped further to add to my edible abstractions series!

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Just back from Syria where I am always tempted to buy some outrageous lingerie and a belly dancer’s costume in the souks. I did once buy an edible set of lingerie which is somewhere in my cupboard (hopefully not being gnawed by mice) but I have yet to buy a dancer’s ensemble. Perhaps next time although I am not quite sure what I would do with it. As you know from previous posts, I have no sense of rythm. In any case, it’s time for my November belly dancer who is Nagwa Fouad. She came later than Tahiya Carioca and Samia Gamal and was just as famous. My sisters and I always giggled when we saw her on TV in Beirut. To us she looked like a transvestite (not that I knew much about them in those days). Of course she isn’t and what’s more, she is a great dancer, albeit not as classy as Tahiya nor as jolly as Samia. Still, Nagwa Fouad is wonderful to watch and I hope you will enjoy this clip as much as I do. According to my mother’s neighbour, she now has her own belly dance school. You may be able to find something about it by going to this forum.