World Grain - September 2021 - 26

EGYPT'S GROWING
APPETITE FOR PASTA
Lifestyle changes, government support are among the reasons for the increase
by Mohamed Ismail and Yasemin Arslan
E
gypt's pasta segment is a lucrative, expanding
market. The appetite for pasta on the part of consumers
has increased appreciably since the government
introduced measures to promote wheat growing
and the sale of local pasta products. Even Egypt's
national dish, koshari, needs pasta as an ingredient.
Pasta or rice? In answer to this question, the choice
in Egypt now falls more often on pasta. Although rice
is still the basis of many traditional dishes, there has
been an increasing trend toward pasta in recent years.
The annual per capita consumption of pasta now averages
around seven kilos.
Government influence
There are several reasons why pasta is no longer a minor
player in Egypt's culinary tradition and has now
achieved a major role. One reason is that in 2017 the
Ministry of Agriculture limited the acreage permitted
for rice growing and thus promoted the cultivation of
plants requiring less irrigation, such as wheat. At the
same time the state encouraged the sale of pasta by
granting consumers with a low income a discount of
around 25% on domestic pasta products under the subsidized
" smart card. "
And not least, the pasta boom is the result of life26
style
changes and a greater demand for convenience
products. The young urban population, in particular,
appreciates the fact that penne, fusilli and spaghetti are
tasty and filling and can be combined with all manner
of different sauces and side dishes without the need for
elaborate preparation and cooking.
A national dish based on pasta
In the Land of the Nile, pasta generally is cooked and
served according to independent recipes typical of a particular
region. The unchallenged favorite is the national
dish " koshari " (or kushary), in which Arabian, European
and Indian influences can be traced. The basic ingredients
of this vegetarian speciality are pasta (vermicelli
and/or macaroni), rice and lentils, served with an aromatic,
spicy tomato sauce, a dash of garlic vinegar and a
topping of chickpeas and fried onions. Since cooking the
dish in one's own kitchen involves elaborate preparation
with numerous pots and pans, koshari usually is eaten
outside the home. In the street, in the marketplace, the
bazar or the shopping mall, countless cookshops, food
stalls and restaurants satisfy the enormous demand for
this classic example of street food.
A further " must " on the Egyptian menu is " macarona
bechamel, " a baked dish rather like Italian lasagne. But
September 2021 / World Grain / World-Grain.com
Photo courtesy of M├╝hlenchemie
http://www.World-Grain.com

World Grain - September 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of World Grain - September 2021

World Grain - September 2021 - Intro
World Grain - September 2021 - 1
World Grain - September 2021 - 2
World Grain - September 2021 - 3
World Grain - September 2021 - 4
World Grain - September 2021 - 5
World Grain - September 2021 - 6
World Grain - September 2021 - 7
World Grain - September 2021 - 8
World Grain - September 2021 - 9
World Grain - September 2021 - 10
World Grain - September 2021 - 11
World Grain - September 2021 - 12
World Grain - September 2021 - 13
World Grain - September 2021 - 14
World Grain - September 2021 - 15
World Grain - September 2021 - 16
World Grain - September 2021 - 17
World Grain - September 2021 - 18
World Grain - September 2021 - 19
World Grain - September 2021 - 20
World Grain - September 2021 - 21
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World Grain - September 2021 - 23
World Grain - September 2021 - 24
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World Grain - September 2021 - 26
World Grain - September 2021 - 27
World Grain - September 2021 - 28
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World Grain - September 2021 - 38
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World Grain - September 2021 - 40
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