Algeria 🇩🇿

Our Algerian Meal

Sunday night’s Gura Global Grub country was Algeria. This is my favorite meal so far. The meal consisted of Hummus bi’l Kammunm (Algerian Chickpea Soup), Algerian Sunset Salad, Artisan French Bread, Hot Algerian Lasagna, Algerian Green Beans, and Bil Zbib (Sweet Couscous with Dried Fruit).

Algeria was a French colony from 1830 until 1962, thus the French bread on the menu. It took 3 days to make the French bread, but it was simple: mixing together flour, salt, yeast, and water and leaving it in a cool place, then mixing in more water, flour, and yeast and letting it sit again. My favorite part was the slap-and-fold method of kneading the bread. The instructions said to slap the dough around a little. The bread is really dense and so yummy, served warm with butter.

The sunset salad is a mixture of blood oranges, fresh fennel, black olives, and mint. I loved it – Rob not so much. I liked the licorice flavor of the fennel.

Sasha Martin. who created the Global Table Adventure site said, “Hot Algerian Lasagna blends traditional Italian lasagna with chickpeas, potatoes, ground lamb, and a healthy dose of cayenne pepper.” We made it with ground turkey instead of lamb and it is delicious! We still have a ton in our freezer.

The Bil Zbib was so good. Not too sweet. Couscous with golden raisins, dried apricots, prunes, cinnamon and butter. Yum. We had the leftovers for breakfast with some toasted pecans on top – oh man!

The only unusual item we bought was harissa, a paste of peppers, garlic, caraway, and coriander. We could have made it from scratch but found it at Giant Eagle!

About Algeria

Algeria is the largest country in Africa. Only about 3% of Algeria is arable, (capable of being used for crops) partly because the majority of the country is Saharan desert. Because of this about 45% of food is imported. France occupied Algeria for over a century in the 1800s and had a lot of influence over culture, architecture, cuisine, and language.

There are some beautiful churches in Algeria such as St. Augustine and Cathédrale du Sacré-Cœur d’Oran. The capital is Constantine, called the “City of Bridges” because of all the bridges that connect the hills, valleys, and ravines of the city.

Algiers Kasbah (or Casbah) is a walled citadel that provided the city’s defenses. Citadel is a diminutive of city, which means “little city”. This is common in many North African countries. Algiers Kasbah has narrow streets, forts, ruins, palaces, and mosques. There is a lot of culture and history.

During the Algerian War of Independence (1954–1962) the National Liberation Front used the Kasbah as a base to plan and execute attacks against the French. The French authorities also used it as a central location during the Battle of Algiers.

Unfortunately, the Kasbah is in poor condition due to age, neglect, and overpopulation. It is estimated the population is between 40,000 to 70,000 but it is hard to estimate because of the large number of squatters in vacant buildings. The government hopes to improve conditions because it is a potential hideout for criminals and terrorists, but this proves difficult because of how hard it would be to re-home all the inhabitants.

What about you?

Please post your comments below. We love hearing other’s experiences and thoughts!

Do you have a favorite meal, recipe or drink from Algeria?

Do you have a favorite place that serves food from Algeria?

Are you from Algeria or have you ever visited?

Andorra is Up Next!

Do you have a favorite meal, recipe or drink from Andorra?

References

  1. Shutterstock
  2. Vatekor, CC BY-SA 1.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/1.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  3. Maghnia-algeria, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  4. Maghnia-algeria, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  5. Map from Country Reports

Britannica, Country ReportsGeography Now, Global Table Adventures, The Travel Book, shutterstock and Wikipedia.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *