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Baghdadee بغدادي

Please Describe Iraqi Food To An American

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What's your food like? Fancy dishes vs. casual, at-home dishes. What are the desserts like? What are some common drinks? Are there many restaurants in Iraq? What kind of food do they generally serve? Do you have casual restaurants and fancy restaurants? How do they differ? What are typical restaurant hours? What kinds of foods are eaten for breakfast vs. lunch vs. dinner vs. snacks? What are typical mealtimes in Iraq?


Hmmm... I'm getting hungry - I think I better go to lunch! (I'm technically at work right now)

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Transating Mikey's:ترجمه ميكي

ماهي طبيعه اكلكم؟ الصحون الفخمه وتلك المعتاده يوميا. وكيف هي الحلويات؟ ماهي المشروبات المتداوله؟ هل هناك مطاعم عديده في العراق؟ماهو نوع الاكل الذي يقدموه بالعاده؟ هل لديكم مطاعم فخمه واخرى شعبيه؟ وكيف الاختلاف بينها؟ماهي اوقات دوام المطاعم عاده؟ ماهي الصحون التي تقدم في الافطار عنها في الغداء او العشاء؟ وكذلك الوجبات الخفيفه؟ ماهو الوقت الاعتيادي للوجبات؟


همم .. ان بدات اشعر بالجوع- اعتقد يجب ان اذهب الى الغداء( انا من الناحيه العمليه ا في الشغل الان)

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Our food consists of meat, rice, vegetable and gravy. A fancy dish we have is "Qousi" a whole

lamb stuffed with nuts, rice, onion and garlic, it is baked in the oven

for several hours. Another typical Iraqi dish is "timan Bagela" which constists of

rice, peeled fava beans with dill and it is to be eaten with yogurt and lamb gravy.

Also, there are all different types of "Kouba" which is a meat/burgul/potato/rice shell stuffed with cooked minced meat and onion

and almond or pinenut. For casual dining, we have meat and any type of vegetable gavy with tomato sauce, eaten with rice.

For drinks, we have "sherbet", (juice). Pommegrante, apricot, plum, grape. There are all kinds of restaurants in Iraq

ranging from fast food to very stylish and fancy restaurants, with music bands. They serve all kinds of food, from American burgers and fries to italian pizzas and pastas

to typical Iraqi food. They usually open really late, (around 2AM). For breakfast, typically , we have cheese, eggs and milk. Occasionaly, we eat a creamy dish called

"ghemar" and it is a layer made out of buffalo's milk. It is to be eaten with molasses or honey and bread. Also, on weekends, we have "bagela wa dihin" which consists of

dry fava beans, with fried eggs, bread and lemons. For lunch, we have rice, meat and vegetable gravy. For dinners, we have "Kouba" , with fried potatoes, salads and yogurt.

For snacks we eat cooked beets, watermelon and cantelope, dates with cucumbers and yogurt, and cooked turnip. Mealtimes vary but mostly they are from 7:00-9:00 breakfast,

1:00-3:00 Lunch, and 9:00-11:00 Dinner. That is in the summer. In winter it is usually earlier than this. I hope I have answered all of your questions and sorry for having taken so long to do so.

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That sounds really good!


I guess it won't be long before we start seeing Iraqi restaurants in my part of the U.S., since Americans tend to soak up any culture they come in contact with. I'll be sure to go.


I notice that you guys, like a lot of Europeans, have dinner much much later than Americans do. Do you have a snack between lunch and dinner? Like in France, I saw folks going to pick up their children from school with a croissant in their hands. You also have much lighter traditional breakfasts, same as in Europe (my Scottish relatives thought it was absolutely disgusting that I would fry up potatoes for breakfast to have with my eggs and toast and bacon).


What is "burgul"? Is it the same as what we would call "cracked wheat bulgar"? Do you eat what American's call tab-oo-lee salad (I didn't attempt to spell it - I just wrote it out phonetically)? Which is cracked wheat bulgar with mint, lemon, tomatoes & cucumbers? We also eat hummus and baba-ganoosh (another phonetic). If Iraqis don't eat these foods, are they from Iran or the Arabian peninsula? Or are they "made up" Arab foods (like chow mein, a "Chinese" dish invented in San Francisco, California, USA) for the American consumer?


HOW do you get buffalo meat? Are we talking about the American Buffalo? Or is it a different animal and you just weren't sure what the American word would be? If so, can you describe this animal? Where it is found and such?


When you say "gravy", could that also sometimes be the same as what we would call "sauce"? Gravy, here, specifically means taking the meat juices and fats that come off a chunk of meat when you cook it, and then stirring in (over heat) some flour for thickener and water and maybe milk. How do you make your "vegetable gravy"? Our gravy is mostly just salty and fatty - but maybe some of your gravy has spices in it?


Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. I realize they aren't exactly of the earth-shattering, political variety... Still, I enjoy hearing about the varieties of human experience on a day-to-day level.

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  • 2 weeks later...


You also have much lighter traditional breakfasts, same as in Europe (my Scottish relatives thought it was absolutely disgusting that I would fry up potatoes for breakfast to have with my eggs and toast and bacon).


It might be the other way.. Iraqis used to have Hareesa , Bacha , kabab, mealak, kahi, sorba and kaimer wa debis on break fast..

I might ask are these.. I leave it to some one more expert than me to detail but I assure you that any of them on your main dinner dish wouuld make you full for next day :D

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Im glad to see that you are interested in Iraqi cuisine. I hope that we will be seeing Iraqi restaurants in the states soon, as well.

Regarding your questions, yes we do usually have dinner much later than Americans do. In my experience, that is due to the fact that Iraqi people tend to come home from work a little later than Americans do ie. 7:00-8:00. As a result, lunch is served a little later too. We do snack between lunch and dinner, for instance, we eat "leblebi" this is chickpeas soaked in hot water and we add salt to it. "burgul" is indeed what you would call "bulgar". We also eat Tabooleh but that is mainly a Lebanese dish. Mostly we eat a tomato and cucumber salad. Babaghanooj (im not too sure how to spell it either) is also very common. These dishes are mainly from Lebanon and Jordan. However, Iraqis have thier own dishes. I cannot think of many arab foods for the moment.

Im not sure if we are talking about the same Buffalo. The one we have in Iraq closely resembles a cow, only it is much bigger in size and is black all-over. It is usually found in farms, same as a cow.

gravy is indeed sauce but it is not the typical thick amercan gravy. In the case that we are talking about it is the sauce of the vegetables mixed with meat. By adding tomato paste to it, it turns red. Then we add water so as to make it less thick and stir it over heat. Some people like to add spices to it but others prefer to salt it only. It really depends on the kind of vegetable for the "sauce" one makes. Some people add onion and garlic to make it taste better. We use vegetables such as okra, eggplants, and zuchini and kidney-beans.

Im glad you are enjoying reading about human experiences in Iraq and i hope i have answered your questions.

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Hello Ladies! Thank you so much for sharing about your foods .. I'm wondering if the foods differ in the north of the country from the south, like they do here in the USA? You should each write a cook book as I'm positive American women would be very interested in purchasing these. While your peoples are rarely heavy, we 'mericans are know to be, um, a little on the chubby side. I can see immediately from your diet that with all the fresh fruits and vegetables and rice, this is partly why (plus you don't have our horrible junk food diet). Maybe someone might start a web site to educate us about your foods and terms and spices, give total recipes, etc. For instance, the lamb idea sounds delicious but I couldn't fit a whole lamb in my oven! :( But I'm looking forward to experiencing new foods from your country. Many thanks!

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  • 4 years later...


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