Kyrenaian Cuisine is devided into the many Ilkhanates and Khanates. It is usually described as spicy.
Staple foods and tools
- Dairy and milk products: Yoghurt, buttermilk, butter, cream. Cheese to some extend (especially goat milk cheese).
- Grains: Barley, Sorghum, Upland Rice, wheat.
- Freshwater Fish:
- Meats: Goats, sheep, lamb, chicken.
- Vegetables: Potatoes (in some regions), carrots, zucchini, onions, olives.
- Fruits: Dates, figs, grapes, peaches, nectarines, oranges, citruses, pomegranates
- Nuts: Almonds, peanuts, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts
- Spices and Greens: Parsley, coriander, mint, spinach, saffron, black pepper, cinnamon, coriander.
Playing into the misconception, that Kyrenaians are muslims (they are Kyrenaian Polytheists), is the almost complete absence of pig and pig products in Kyrenaian Cuisine - however, that is more a preference as pigs consume much water for little return, with the same problem explaining the absense of cattle. In the Kyrenaian Colonies, the situation was different as the water resources were more easily available.
Also important for the cuisine are specific products made from some of these fruits, to the point that olive oil and date products such as date vinegar and date honey. Pomegranate juice is an often-consumed and highly-liked drink among young and old.
One of the most important devices for cooking is the tawagine, also called a maraq or a qidar, an earthenware pot. This device, sometimes glazed or painted, consists of a flat base and a large cone, which is supposed to return all (or most) condensation to the base, although a flat lid is to be used for some dishes. While in many households, the earthenware assembly has vanished along with the charcoal bricks, which were used as heat source or became decorative items, assemblies of cast iron or stainless steel having replaced them on the hearth. Usually, tawagines are used when preparing dinner.
- See Main Article: Kyrenaian Tea Culture.
Water is in short supply, but
Rose Water is more often used as an ingredient.
Doggy Aragh is a popular spirit, made of anise and grapes and usually watered down as it has a very high alcoholic content. One of the most popular brands is Alyaninisun.
The Tuqasimiah is an ancient Kyrenaian Custom, a gesture welcoming a guest, to assure each other of peaceful and friendly intent, and to make it clear, that the host puts his guest under his protection for the duration of the stay.
short and simple meal of tea, bread and cheese or rarely jam,
Lunch, consumed usually between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., is the lightest meal of the day, just a quick filler before the main action of the day continue and to weather the hottest times of the day. The three classics are:
- Falafel/felafel or alkurat almaqaliya (literally 'fried ball'): Deep fried ball of chickpeas, usually served with a spicy sauce.
- Tabbouleh/Kisir: A light salad, made of parsley, tomato and a ground grain, usually barley.
- Kibbeh/Kobeiba/Kubbeh: Ground grain (usually barley), onions and finely ground meat, spiced, and then either served raw, baked, cooked or fried.
Dinner is the most important meal of the day, usually for the entire family to come together and to eat together - and usually it is also the most festive meal of the day.
In the Ilkhanate of Sarepta, where a lot of fish is consumed, Samke Harrar is a popular dish, lightly lemon-marinated fish, baked, and then covered in a sauce of Tahini paste and lemon juice and spices.
Tawagine denotes both the earthenware cooking utensil (although it has been replaced by cast iron or stainless steel nowadays) and the foods made with it.
From slow-cooking stews like Saltah (see below) to an omelet-like dish known as Ajjaha, the possibilities are sheer endless. Many of the staples of Kyrenaian Cuisine can be used in a Tawagine and as it reuses much of the moisture used in the cooking, it is a device, which can be used in the water-limited climate of Kyrenaia.
Saltah is a popular Tawagine Dish, a stew based on a brown meat stew known as Maraq, together with a dollop of Fenugreek froth and a condiment known as Sahawiq, which is a salsa made of different herbs and spices, with potatoes and vegetables added to the stew. It is usually served with flat bread.
Ajjaha, meanwhile, is an egg-based dish made in a Tawagine with a flat top. Meat is cut into small strips, cooked with onions and spices until the meat is tender, with something starchy being used to thicken the juices (the usual choice are chickpeas). When the meat is tender, the dominant flavour is added, for example cooked vegetables, then enriched with eggs and cheese. This is then filled into the the tawagine, covered and baked until the upper and lower crusts are firm, the innards moist. It is then brought onto a plate and cut, usually in wedges. Traditionally, the entire thing is baked over a fire of olive wood coals beneath and hot coals above, but a modern oven does the trick just as well.
Kyrenaian Diplomatic Dinners usually consist of two courses, rarely three or even four, and are usually White Tie Events. While not comparable to the state banquets held at other times of the day, the Diplomatic Dinner is a very formal occasion.
The courses (and common dishes for these courses) are:
- Fish Course:
- Main Course:
The number of courses literally depends on the daily mood of the Sultan, Sultana or other host. Razia-Sultana usually only has two courses, Main and Dessert. Prince Damir entertained his guests aboard the Aurelia during the State Visit to Astares Amauricanum with three courses, Main, Pudding and Dessert.
A popular desert is alfakihat murzibani or alfakihat, a marzipan confectionary shaped to look like fruits and flavoured after the fruit its supposed to look like with syrup. The term alfakihat is usually found in dictionaries as 'fruits', but in Kyrenaian, fakiha means fruit.
Luqaimat is a popular sweet, dumplings drizzled with date molasses,