The Emirates’ cuisine is a perfect reflection of local tradition and heritage. Similarly to diverse population, the UAE’s cuisine reflects the mixture of cultures and influences, and it pays respect to neighbouring countries’ cuisines, such as India, Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan. However, taking into account the predominance of international cuisine, in many cases both tourists and locals do not experience traditional local cuisine.
Throughout history, a traditional Emirate’s meal was centered around venison, such as camels, goats and local fish species. Nowadays, you will encounter chicken dishes that became available after the oil ‘boom’. The UAE’s ancestors, known as Bedouins, were a nomad tribe that traveled through the desert. Due to long and exhausting travels, their meals consisted dishes with complex carbon-hydrates that provided travelers with enough energy. Most of dishes are delicately seasoned with spices such as turmeric, saffron, cardamom and cinnamon. These spices originate from India, which suggests the influence of trade with Indian merchants on Emirates’ cuisine. Each household makes a unique mixture of spices, so it is very rare for two dishes to taste similarly.
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