Thursday, March 5, 2009

Enjoying the Cuisine of Afghanistan

Afghanistan may be one of the poorest nations on the planet, but you can't tell that by their deliciously prepared food. While the daily rations here at ISAF are mainly European, we are occasionally presented with a full Afghan feast. Whether it's a special dinner, or just enjoying lunch with some locals, the flavors are a holiday for my taste buds. Perhaps it's because the food is fresh and unprocessed, unlike in most American restaurants, or because the ingredients are different, but I love the native dishes.

Most Afghan meals consist of thin bread used to grab the kabobs or other dishes. The process of eating, apart from the food, is also an experience. Afghans sit on the ground and eat with their hands. No chairs, no silverware, no table. We sit in a circle, place our food on the ground in front of us, and eat with our right hands. It is considered unkempt in the Muslim world to eat with one's left hand.

A couple days ago, I enjoyed a nice lunch with some of the contractors working on the base. One of them, my new friend Aziz, grew up in Kabul, later fled to Pakistan, and came back when the Taliban were removed. I look forward to learning more about his life in the months ahead.

1 comment:

  1. I'd love to see some photographs of an Afghan feast. It might also be neat to do a recipe exchange...perhaps your mom or one of your blog followers has an American recipe(s) that you could exchange for a traditional dish from Afghanistan. That way, you could share the delightful palette you were treated to with the rest of us when you get home :)