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Breakfast In Iraq
In recent years, breakfast has become a luxury for the people of Iraq. Economic sanctions imposed by the United Nations in 1991 destroyed the country’s daily food supply. The much-maligned fat-for-food program instituted in 1995 seemed to create more controversy than comfort. The program ended in 2003 – the same year that Iraq was invaded by the US-led coalition. In 2006, traditional Iraqi breakfasts were rarely mentioned as a casualty of war.
Under Saddam Hussein’s regime, breakfast was already in jeopardy. In the last five years of his rule, it was reported that 400,000 Iraqi children under the age of five died of malnutrition and disease. Besides killing breakfast eaters, the regime was actually killing breakfast. Confirmed stories tell us that Saddam Hussein ordered millions of palm trees to be pruned in an effort to eliminate snipers during the Iran-Iraq War. As you can see, dates are a very important part of the Iraqi breakfast experience.
In this report, we focus on the Iraqi breakfast as it was before the foreign military intervention, because it still has ingredients, and we hope that it will reappear in the very near future.
Until 1918, Iraq was known as Mesopotamia, which means “the land between the rivers”. The Tigris and Euphrates rivers divide the country and Iraq’s population is narrowly concentrated around an agricultural belt along these rivers. While Iraq receives little rainfall, the land around the rivers is suitable for growing many important staple crops including wheat, figs, dates, citrus fruits, melons, beans, onions and various herbs. The dry areas of Iraq are better suited for growing barley, which is an important grain, especially in times of drought.
About 10% of Iraq is suitable for livestock grazing. Sheep and goats outnumber cows, making sheep and goat milk (and cheese) more common breakfast options than their cow-made counterparts. Buffalo milk and cheeses are also popular, although the number of buffaloes in Iraq is low due to the previously mentioned animals.
About 95% of Iraq’s population are Muslims. 54 percent of them are Shiites, and 41 percent are Sunnis. The main difference between the Shi’ite and Sunni sects is a conflicting belief about the rightful heirs to Muslim rule, a conflict that goes back to the early history of the Muslim religion. Despite the well-known animosity between the groups, they share similar Muslim beliefs, observe the same religious festivals and eat the same breakfast.
Until recently, a large number of Jews called Iraq their homeland. In fact, in the 19th century, about a quarter of the population of Baghdad were Jews. In 1948, the Jewish community of Iraq was estimated at 150,000. But this number is now down to hundreds. While your average Muslim in Iraq may not be a fan of Jews, they quietly tend to enjoy Jewish-inspired cuisine and this sometimes shows at the breakfast table.
Iraqi cuisine is strongly influenced by neighboring countries, Turkey and Iran. A foodie describes Iraqi public cuisine as “a combination of standard Arabic cuisine with Persian influences and Turkish influence in the north”.
Breakfast in Iraq is usually a light meal. Egg dishes are very common. They are breakfast snacks.
Like many countries, the basic breakfast food in Iraq is bread. A flat bread known as khubz and an oval-shaped bread called samoon are found alone or together in most dishes. For breakfast, bread is eaten with butter, jam, honey, cheese, libna (yogurt with olive oil), palm molasses, sesame paste and almost anything you can put on or put in bread. Bread is also the main thing. an ingredient in most breakfast recipes that are considered uniquely Iraqi.
Gaymer (Sometimes seen as “Geimer”)
Gaymer is the word made from buffalo milk, very creamy, creamy white. A familiar companion would be the better known clotted cream. In Iraq, the most common use of this cream is in a recipe called Gaymer Wa Dibis. In this dish, slices of bread are dipped in both gaymer and dibis (the Arabic word for date syrup). Like many Iraqi breakfast favorites, Gaymer Wa Dibis is usually enjoyed from communal trays, with fingers acting as the only utensil. Some Iraqis prefer honey to date syrup. Others may add sweet almonds to their Gaymer Wa Dibis. There are even versions of yogurt, olives and cheese that replace the traditional ingredients.
A Jewish breakfast dish of Babylonian origin called Kahi is another favorite in Iraq. A relative of baklava, kahi consists of very thinly folded layers of filo dough that are baked and then drizzled with honey or a flavored sugar syrup called sheera (not to be confused with the Indian breakfast porridge of the same name make a). Kahi is sometimes eaten with the above gaymer cream.
In Iraq, it is customary for the mother of a new bride to bring breakfast (mostly Kahi) to her groom’s house the morning after the wedding.
In northern and central Iraq, beans play an important role in breakfast. A traditional bean dish of Maltese origin called bigilla is popular both as a breakfast dish and as a snack.
The main ingredient of bigila is a special type of bean called “ful ta girba”. The beans are soaked overnight and mixed with olive oil and other ingredients to make a paste or dip. Bigilla is almost always served with bread. A common breakfast variation is to serve bigilla on slices of bread and a fried egg.
Iraqi Muslims celebrate Ramadan throughout the ninth month of the Muslim year. During the month of Ramadan, no food or water is consumed from sunrise to sunset. Muslims believe that fasting makes them stronger in their faith and helps them identify with the poor and hungry.
Ramadan breakfast is called suhoor and should be eaten before dawn. Suhoor usually consists of grains, seeds, dates, bananas and other foods that are considered slow because their next meal may be as much as 16 hours away.
Other Iraqi Breakfast Favorites
Some of the other things you can find for breakfast in Iraq are: pastries with dates, omelets and other egg dishes, candied oranges, rice with eggs, chicken, various soups, bananas and manna.
Bacon, sausage and ham are very rare in Iraq because God forbids Muslims to eat pork.
The most popular breakfast drinks in Iraq are coffee and tea. Most Iraqis brew their coffee thick and bitter and take it black. The tea is often sweetened and served in small cups. Fruit juices are also popular.
The following Iraqi Breakfast recipes are available at Mr Breakfast.com:
– Makhlama bil Sbenagh (Iraqi Spinach Omelet)
– Gaymer Wa Dibis (Buffalo Cream and Date Syrup)
– Kahi (Sweet Easter)
– Bigilla (Breakfast Passover)
If you want to cook these Iraqi dishes for a friend, you might tell that friend about a great Iraqi custom: It is not appropriate to return the neighbor’s empty dish. From sharing breakfast on communal trays to making sure no good breakfast goes unrewarded, the breakfast tradition in Iraq should show us that most Iraqis are decent people.
Editorial Mr. Breakfast
Sometimes Iraqi people don’t like us much. They may see American men as giants and American women as slobs. But you know what? When I’m in a bad mood, sometimes I see the world like that. Many Westerners treat the people of Iraq as enemies in general. What do you do when you get into a fight? But we must remember that in the end, we are all just human… we all sleep at night and we all wake up in the morning. And in all of this, when we wake up, the first thing our body asks for is not democracy, religious solidarity or blood… it’s breakfast… one meal… it’s an important way we can see that learning about cultures is better. and maybe even respect them, before we blindly consider them strange or immoral and condemn them. Let breakfast bring our nations together like our families. Amin (Same closing for both Christian and Muslim prayer, although in Iraq it is often spelled “Amin” and spoken with a raspy sound after the first syllable).
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