Bread: types of Egyptians' indispensable food



Thu, 11 Nov 2021 - 05:19 GMT


Thu, 11 Nov 2021 - 05:19 GMT

FILE - Standard Egyptian bread known as Eish Balady – Egypt Today

FILE - Standard Egyptian bread known as Eish Balady – Egypt Today

CAIRO – 11 November 2021: Bread is called in most Arab countries "khobz." But in Egypt, it is called "Eish," meaning living. The word connotes the salience of bread – which was once the method of payment to workers who built the pyramids in Ancient Egypt - in the lives of Egyptians.


The look of Egyptian standard bread – sold at bakeries and mostly subsidized by the state - is very famous. But, that is not the only type, there are others baked at home in rural areas, particularly in Upper Egypt, and are equally delicious. The common feature among them is that they are all vegetarian given that they do not include eggs, butter or ghee.


Bataw Bread



That kind of bread is very popular in Upper Egyptian rural villages. Unlike the regular Egyptian bread, it consists of corn flour and not just wheat flour. The ingredients also include sugar, salt, and ground fenugreek. What is distinct about Bataw is that it is a one-layer thin bread. It is also neither hard nor soft.


Sun-baked Bread

Sun-baked bread 2


The ingredients of that type of bread are a mix of white and brown flour, bran, which is an ingredient that is also essential in standard Egyptian bread, salt, sugar, and yeast. The round-shaped dough is later put on a stone, and left in the hot sun of Upper Egypt to get baked. The outcome is a brown bread loaf familiar in other countries, and that is known in Egypt as Eish Shamsy.


Sun-baked bread

Standard Egyptian Bread

The standard Egyptian bread – know as Eish Baladi - is made of the same abovementioned ingredients in addition to a small amount of oil.   


Egyptian bread 2


It is noteworthy to mention that Egyptians consume 18 million tons of wheat per annum, producing around half the quantity and importing the rest.



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