Talk about Afghanistan, and most people get the misconception that this is a country that does not have much to offer. In the event that you are of the same view, you need be informed that your perceptions are slightly misplaced. True, this is a country that has been ravaged by war and politics and so many other negative impacts of societal conflicts. However, even in the midst of all this madness, there is one thing that remains truly Afghan, it is their culture. So rich is the Afghan culture that there are so many countries that cannot even match them.
Afghanistan is quite a unique nation, located within desert land. However, all the dryness and the war do not strike off the impeccable and enthralling culture that prevails. Such is the prevalence that Afghan foods like sambosa egoushti , The Slow Food Guide to San Francisco and the Bay Area: Restaurants, Markets …edited by Sylvan Brackett, Sue Moore, Wendy Dow (2005)have found their way into other countries. Origin of Afghan food culture Unlike other countries that we might have come across, the Afghan food culture is one of a kind.
The cuisine that is served within and without the boundaries of this country is of such rich an origin it strikes all taste buds to feel the rush. There are reports and research information that have gone on record to document that the food that is usually served in Afghanistan is usually a carefully blended species that emanates from the surrounding nations. Well, even though there might be some truth in this, there remains the logical part where the originality of the Afghan cuisine is seen in the way in which the people prepare their foods.
Afghan cuisines are so enthralling that there are restaurants and many other food outlets in different parts of the world that prepare Afghan foods just to make themselves specialties as in The Rough Guide to San Francisco Restaurants By Elgy Gillespie (2003). As you go further east, you will realize that the food cuisines that are served are usually a bit too hot or even pungent. This is however not the case with Afghan food. As a matter of fact, the cuisine served in this hot nation is of a unique blend, neither too hot nor pungent, but just the right amount of spices to keep you coming for more.
There are even people who have once been misguided into believing that the Afghan food might be bland in nature. Before you set foot in this land, or if you are unable to, before you taste the food from Afghanistan, you will not be able to witness the true taste of the delicacies, not to mention the exoticness and the exquisite tastes. Arabian countries have always been known for their impressive tastes in food and other items, as indicated by Najiba Zaka Helen, Shaima Breshna, Saberi Noshe Djan: Afghan Food and Cookery 2000 An insight into Afghan dietary culture
Every country has to have a basic diet, of which for Afghans this happens to be made up of bread and tea, or in their language, nan and chai. Nan is usually flavored with nigella, poppy or sesame seeds, and is baked either in the family’s own tandoor or by a nanwaee at a local tandoor bakery. In the event that the baker is a woman, grooves are made in the bread, if men, then cuts are made. One of the many things that stand out about this culture is the fact that there is a lot of prominence that is laid on the food.
As a matter of fact, Afghan culture greatly adores unexpected guests. In other western cultures, people usually view uninvited guests with such disgust that it is considered an imposition. However, Afghans readily welcome the guests into their homes. In fact, so kind are they that even in the worst of situations, the family will welcome in whomever is at the door and share a hearty meal with them. One of the reasons why this culture stands out is that it is usually a rare occurrence to come away from an Afghan table hungry, even if the situation is so dire.
Whatever little they have they usually share. Afghan cuisines are usually authentic and delicious especially if you have the know how to prepare them, Nafisa Sekandari Afghan Cuisine Avagana Publishing 2010 A Collection of Family Recipes In Afghanistan, it is reported that even the type of food that is eaten has a symbolic meaning. In particular, we have the Qaabuli Pallow which represents the crown of Afghan cooking and is usually served to special guests or on special occasions such as weddings.
Letee is a special meal that is served to new mothers due to the fact that it is very easy on the stomach yet it has a high nutritive value. Dogh is best enjoyed on a hot summer’s day while Mahi is served during Nowroz-the Afghan celebration of New Year. According to Afghan tradition, eggs are usually prepared in a special way so that a guest is well nourished when they wake up in the morning. So strong is the Afghan belief in food and the embroiled culture that they believe that food s elemental in nature, and for that reason it can produce either hot, cold, or neutral reactions in the body. The culture appreciates food so much to the extent that it is considered sinful to step on a piece of dropped bread. The dining culture in Afghanistan There are so many interesting ideas as regards the Afghan culture, some of which might be very intriguing. First of all you have to understand that the culture greatly values etiquette. You must always make sure that whenever you are visiting someone, you have to remove your shoes at the door. This is customary to Afghans.
Besides this, there is also the tendency that whenever food is being served, especially in someone’s home, the setting is usually in such a way as people will sit on the floor, and in most cases on some cushioned surfaces. Some of the practices might be common place to so many cultures, including the aspect of waiting to be shown where to sit. It is also very important to remember that whenever you sit down, try as best as you can to sit down cross legged. It is considered a bad habit to sit with your legs outstretched and your feet facing other people.
There are other cultures the world over that might find this amusing or even irritating, but the Afghan communities are so closely knitted that they usually serve their food communally, and everyone is invited to eat from the same plate, tray or dish. As a rule, you should remember never to eat with your left hand. While on that, it is also important to make sure that you pass and receive things with your right hand also as a sign of respect. When you are a visitor to Afghanistan, you might take some time to learn this, but the sooner you get used to it the better. The food is usually eaten by use of the hands.
People scoop the food into a ball with their fingertips and then they eat. Of all these, the most important is that you should remember to leave food on your plate, lest you be confused for wanting more and your plate will keep getting filled up over and over again. Conclusion Afghanistan might have been ripped apart by the endless wars and all the politics going around, but the fact remains that this is one of the countries with the richest culture as regards food and cuisines. The afghan cuisines are so impressive that they have spread all over the world to lands far and wide.
There are so many five star hotels around the globe that specialize in Afghan cuisines, and this in itself is a true indication that the culture of the nation has greatly molded the cuisines into some of the best the world has to offer. The food culture of the Afghans also indicates that to them it is never just about the food and satisfaction, but there are a lot of other aspects that are factored into the equation whenever food is placed on the table, including respect for one another and the entire gathering, and the openness and welcoming spirit with which the families receive guests into their homes.
The Afghans will usually be proud of their cuisines and there is nothing that makes them happier than to see everyone leave the table satisfied and happy. One particular thing that stands out about the cooking is the fact that the food never relies on the measurements of the spices and other ingredients, but it is solely related to the ability of the food to meet a particular desired taste.