Hope your week was lovely! Here are a few fun facts about food and culture in Bahrain:
- Souqs are the markets in Bahrain:
Historically, souqs were held outside of cities in the location where a caravan loaded with goods would stop and merchants would display their goods for sale. Souqs were held when there was a caravan or more available. At that time, souqs were more than just a market to buy and sell goods; they were also major festivals and many cultural and social activities took place in them. Later, due to the importance of the marketplace and the growth of cities, the locations of souqs shifted to urban centers. (source: Wikipedia)
- Rumor has it there are no Bahraini restaurants in Bahrain. Sounds unlikely, but this advice holds true, no matter where you travel: if you want to eat authentic food, go to someone’s house.
- Italian and Lebanese restaurants are preferred by locals.
- When drinking ‘gahwa’ (Arabic coffee) be sure to shake your cup side to side when you are full. Otherwise, the waiter or host will keep refilling your cup.
- Bahrain is one of the few countries where you will see men and women in coffeehouses. In the Middle East this pastime is traditionally reserved for males. In these Arabic coffeehouses, people often smoke shisha pipes. In these pipes, the smoke is pulled through water before being inhaled.
- While American fast food establishments have made their mark on Bahrain, they also have three local chains: Jasmis, Tazaj, and Jan Burger. If you check out Jasmis’ web site, beware – it is very noisy.
Happy Friday! Have a great weekend