Yesterday, we had our first serious Koshari Street event, setting up stall at the Mayor of London’s Eid Festival in Trafalgar Square. It was quite amazing. We never stopped for one minute, serving people of all ages, all nationalities, all sexes who all loved our koshari. And we loved them for wanting it. I particularly loved the two young girls in the picture above, university students who had come up to London for the festival and had stocked up on food from other stalls which they carried in blue plastic bags. I should have asked them to put the bags aside for the sake of the picture but then I wouldn’t have caught them so natural. Another one I loved was the gentleman in the picture below squeezing through the crowd anxiously carrying away his pots of koshari. I also liked his fashion sense although not as much as that of two Italian ladies who also enjoyed our Koshari. I am not sure why I didn’t take their picture. They were just as gorgeous as the two university students. But I took others, all with instagram, which I resisted for years but no longer and if you are curious to see them, you can in our facebook album!
Well, it is that time of the month again and very timely too given all that is going on in Egypt. I should really be featuring Tahiya who was very engaged politically but I had a picture of her and Farid in my previous post, so, am going with the other great dancer of that time, Samia Gamal, in a very early film where you also get some of the film action (sorry if you are not an Arabic speaker) and a divine dance with the camera focusing on her beautiful midriff to start then panning to her shadow then finally on her and the motley drooling men watching her. One of my favourite clips of hers. I need to find the film (Agaza fi Gahanam, 1949) and show it at Koshari Street. Very soon we will have screens in there to show classic black & white Egyptian films and street food scenes from around the world!
Yesterday was our first day at Koshari Street, an Egyptian inspired vegetarian street food experience, and it was a great day. Everyone loved our koshari except for a few hardened souls (actually two and both male) wanting meat. So, I thought I’d do a post on Cairo butchers. Perhaps our next concept will be inspired by them. Or perhaps not. In any case, for those who crave meat there is plenty of it on the streets of Cairo and in particular all around the beautiful Al-Hussein mosque. It doesn’t take very long before you come across butchers hard at work like the one above, butchering their beef, lamb or camel carcasses in full view of passers-by.
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.