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[LifeStyle] A researcher documents 50 types of bread in the governorates of Egypt


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The journey began 20 years ago. Working in the Jebel Elba Reserve was the first building block for research and documentation in the life of environmental researcher Osama Ghazali.

Documenting the environmental and urban heritage was the great and continuous passion in the life of Ghazali, who spent most of his life moving between Halayeb and Shalateen in the southeast of the country, to the oases in the western desert and the Red Sea mountain ranges in the east, studying all the details that brought together or differed among the people of Mahrousa, from the Delta to the far south the valley.


غزالي يجوب مصر لتوثيق الحياة اليومية ويدوّن تراث الخبز المصري


Documenting the heritage of (bread) Egyptian bread was among Ghazali's goals in his tours across Egypt, in which he saw different types of food influenced by the environment in which it was made. In his tours, Ghazali documented 50 types of Egyptian bread, between daily “bread” for food, pie for occasions, kahk (cakes) for holidays, baked goods for weddings, flour for comforters.. and others.

The environmental researcher confirms - in his interview with Al-Jazeera Net - that these remaining types of about 130 types of bread were known to the ancient Egyptians, and were written on the walls of the temples, and most of them no longer exist.

Ghazali travels to Egypt documenting daily life and writing down the heritage of Egyptian bread
Ghazali confirmed that there are about 130 types of bread known to the ancient Egyptian (Al-Jazeera)
Cairo was the only governorate in which Arab documentaries cared about documenting its history and events, distancing themselves from people and their lives, in contrast to Western documentation about Egypt, even if Cairo won the largest share of it. The researchers paid attention to the different aspects of life away from the whims of the regimes that were ruling at the time.

Ghazali says, "Some believe that documenting the loaf of bread and its various forms in all parts of Egypt is an easy or not important task, but the truth is that the matter is very complicated. Documenting forms of life, urbanization, clothing, and societal development is a documentation of what a person actually lives in life, which is what the Pharaohs believed in, We learned from them the history of clothing, architecture, and food that we would never have known had it not been written on the walls.


غزالي يجوب مصر لتوثيق الحياة اليومية ويدوّن تراث الخبز المصري


On his personal Facebook page, Ghazali listed 50 types of Egyptian bread with several ingredients including wheat, barley, corn, lentils, white flour, fenugreek, and dried okra.

Sinai bread
Several types of Sinai bread are still known today, and they are baked in homes in Sinai, including: Al-Farashih, Al-Labba, Al-Raqaq, Al-Saj bread, Al-Maifah bread (which is similar to the Iraqi tandoor), Lahouh bread (which is a type baked in the Ababda tribe) and Al-Mallouli bread, which is specific to the northern tribes. Sinai.

Delta and Lower Egypt bread
In the Delta, other types of bread are popular, especially those designated for weddings and occasions, and those that are served to guests or to the newlyweds only, as well as other items offered in the week of newborns, such as marahh, batati, and bataw, which is bread made from corn flour, as well as okra bread made from Flour and dried okra.

Mutabbaq and feteer meshaltet are two types that are close to each other, but the mutabbaq differs in that it is baked in a pan (pan) and is similar to the Yemeni or Gulf mutabbaq.

Comaj living in Kafr El-Sheikh, living in Lajt and Rahaif, living in apostasy and maize, 4 types of bread in Kom Hamada and Beheira, and living in fatwas in Dakahlia and cities in some governorates of the Delta.

Bread Upper Egypt and Upper Egypt
Shamsi bread is the most famous bread offered by the people of Upper Egypt, along with Abu Qarn bread, which is Shamsi bread that has horns on both sides and is baked on holidays, and barley bread, which is kneaded from barley and is spread in the New Valley.

Qaros al-Saedi, al-Fayesh, al-Kishk al-Saedi, al-Makhrota and al-Quddosia, all of which are pastries made from flour, water or milk. Aish al-Qaroos and zalabiya in Qena, al-Rashta, dashisha and al-Damasi pie in some villages of Sohag, mradd bread in the New Valley, and al-Qudsia pie in the villages of Qus and Naqada.

Bread oases and the desert and Matrouh
Rigag and bagouri, among the most famous baked goods in the eastern desert, is muraddaq. It is also called “emergency bread” in Matrouh Governorate. It is bread made without yeast, made on saj, and is very similar to tortillas. In Matruh, too, there is “Al-Jarasa” bread, which is also unleavened and buried in embers.

"Aseeda" is bread made in the eastern desert, the Siwa Gospel. It is bread made of dates mixed with flour and is baked in Siwa homes and served at wedding banquets and for the newlyweds on the wedding night.

"Tangouta't" are the dry dough strips that are served to guests for the first days of the baby's arrival. They are made from homemade noodles and sprinkled with fenugreek and honey or sugar and butter.




Aswan and Nubia bread
"Aish Fatteh" is in Aswan, and it is specially baked to make fatteh during seasons and holidays.

As for leaven, it is bread made in Nuba homes, and it is similar to local oven bread. and shadi, a very thin bread made from wheat and corn, baked in saj in Aswan. And the caped, which is similar to the shddi, but is thicker and is famous in Nubia.

Khmeret, made from corn and wheat, and called duqa, is baked by the people of Kalabsha in Aswan and in Nubia.

All this research effort was undertaken by Ghazali alone, and he is currently seeking to compile it into an illustrated book that documents the Egyptian heritage of bread, and becomes a reference for the forms and types of Egyptian baked goods.

And he assures Al-Jazeera Net that the coming days will witness the documentation of all his research and documentation tours of life in Egypt in booklets, each of which covers a governorate in all its aspects, adding, "I hope that the concerned authorities in Egypt will participate in documenting this living heritage that is on the verge of extinction."




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