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History and tradition
Egypt sat right on the crossroads of the ancient spice road. Its population would have had access to spices from the East like cumin, coriander and cinnamon. Pepper would be a much later arrival, most likely with the Greeks, but salt was available and used as a preservative—even in the dry air that left meat considerably less exposed to rapid decay than it would be in Europe.
Coriander was prized as an aphrodisiac. There’s evidence that coriander seeds were planted in tombs as early as the 21st dynasty (around 1000 B.C.) as a symbol of eternal love and enduring passion. Cumin was also regarded as a sign of faithfulness, and cumin seeds were sometimes carried in pockets by soldiers and merchants as a memory of those waiting for them back home. They were also thought to settle the stomach and aid in digestion.
Cinnamon, meanwhile, was considerably more expensive than cumin and coriander, and was therefore less readily available to the common laborer of ancient Egypt. Often used in the embalming process, it is in fact a powerful antimicrobial agent, which means it can help prevent the spoilage of meat. When available, it would be used very sparingly, mixed in with other spices so that its flavor and effectiveness would be enhanced.
A mixture of these three spices— along with toasted nuts, salt and garlic—was used to sweeten the coarse bread of daily life in ancient Egypt.

Special features
Fights in marriages are like salt and pepper
ايلخنا فالجواز ذي ايلملح والفلفل

Festivities and traditions
During the holy month of Ramadan, drinks like tamr hendy or karkade are traditional to drink.

Publish date 16/10/2013 11:06
Last updated 14/04/2014 17:33