Friday, March 9, 2012
From the Vaults: Eating Egypt: Day 7: Our last day in Cairo
I've been meaning to get this post up for about a year and a half! It's the final day's food highlights from our trip to Egypt. And it's nothing so complicated that it should have taken this long.
1. We bought an nut-topped ice cream from a shop down the street from our hotel...
2. We had a great mango smoothie from the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in Zamalek, where we bought our wireless card...
We walked around the tentmakers' market and actually didn't see any other tourists there. That was a nice change of pace after the overcrowded Khan el-Khalili market. We even paid a local college student (who, though he didn't ask for money, probably wished to make a few bucks and practice his English) a little money to be our guide. I was suspicious of his sales pitch, which started as soon as we got out of our cab, but it actually turned out to be a great way to spend the afternoon. Dan got to take some pictures inside one of the mosques while I (a woman, and not allowed to enter through the front of the building) sat outside and watched passing children peek at me surreptitiously. We both saw a lot of amazing architecture.
3. On the street, as we walked, a fruit vendor handed me a banana. Our guide said, as I tried to refuse it, "Oh no, it is a gift! You'll insult him if you don't take it." So I took it home and ate it in our hotel room. It looked like a banana -- that's it. But it tasted better than U.S. supermarket bananas. The fruit in Egypt really is superb.
4. Our final dinner was served that evening, on the veranda of a fancy hotel on Zamalek, overlooking the Nile. There, we saw a local soccer star and enjoyed amazing food. I'll have to check my notes to see if I have the name of this hotel written down. I'll update here if I do. Once again, I could have made a meal of the appetizers alone. I really just wanted bowls and bowls of the garlic spread. The night grew dark as our little grill flamed. Everything was perfect.
Day seven at last! My recounting of our trip to Egypt is now, sadly, complete. Thanks to Adam and Omar, our thoughtful and well-connected hosts, we had an incredible time. Truly, I'd say we didn't eat a bad meal while there -- and we suffered no gastrointestinal distress (no small feat for some international destinations)!
Ah, Cairo. I will always dream of your baby eggplants, garlic dips, and tangerine juice. I hope to return someday.