The Middle East is known for its rich culture and history, as well as its delicious and unique cuisine. While many people may be familiar with popular dishes such as falafel and shawarma, there are also some lesser-known and peculiar foods that are worth trying. Here are some of the weirdest Middle Eastern foods that you may not have heard of before.
1. Camel Meat
Camel meat is a delicacy that is commonly consumed in countries such as Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Oman. It is considered a luxury food item, and is typically cooked in a stew or grilled. The meat is said to have a strong, gamey flavour and is often compared to beef or venison.
2. Stuffed Camel
This dish is a whole roasted camel that is filled with a mixture of rice, spices, and sometimes lamb or chicken. It is typically served at special occasions in countries such as Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Kuwait. The meat is said to have a tender and flavourful taste, and the stuffing adds a unique twist to the dish.
Harees is a traditional porridge made from wheat and meat, commonly made with lamb or chicken. It is a popular dish in the Gulf countries, particularly in Saudi Arabia and UAE. The porridge is said to have a creamy and comforting texture, and the meat adds a rich flavour to the dish.
4. Fried Grasshoppers
Fried grasshoppers are a popular snack in several Middle Eastern countries, and can be found at street vendors or in markets. They are typically seasoned with spices and have a crispy texture. While it may be an unusual snack for some, it is a delicacy for locals and is said to have a nutty and savory flavour.
Kapsa is a traditional dish from Oman, made with rice and meat, typically chicken or lamb, cooked with a mix of spices, raisins and nuts. It is a staple food in Oman and is often served during special occasions and celebrations.
6. Saffron Ice-Cream
This is a traditional dessert from Iran, made with saffron, rose water and pistachios. It's a unique and delicious ice cream that is considered as a delicacy, and definitely a must-try for anyone visiting Iran.
Not actually originally from the Middle East, but due to the large number of immigrants from the Phillippines, you can find this dish all across the region. This dish is a fertilized duck egg that is boiled and eaten in the shell. It is a popular street food in countries such as the Philippines and Vietnam, and is also a delicacy in some Middle Eastern countries such as UAE and Saudi Arabia. The egg is typically served with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and is said to have a rich, savory flavour.
These are just a few examples of the unique and unusual foods that can be found in the Middle East. While they may not be for everyone, they are a great way to experience the diverse and rich culture of the region. Whether you're a foodie or just looking for a unique culinary experience, these weird Middle Eastern foods are definitely worth trying.
Join us in the Middle East if you’d like to try some of these for yourself!