Saudi Arabia’s dining industry is pretty vast, and the kingdom offers up everything from high end franchises, to fast food joints, but nothing really beats traditional food that the country was raised on and celebrates with every national day, does it?
Earlier this week, the kingdom’s Culinary Arts Commission announced its national dishes: Jareesh, which was selected as the national main dish of Saudi Arabia and Maqshush as the country’s national dessert.
So what is Jareesh and Maqshush?
Jareesh happens to be an extremely popular and well-known dish in the kingdom and originates from the Saudi region of Qassim, and from there grew in popularity and spread to neighboring regions and countries. Made from crushed wheat, yogurt, and meat, Jareesh is often served at banquets, weddings, and social events, and is considered a useful dish that is highly nutritious.
It is prepared using tablets of crushed wheat, mixed with yogurt, which is then dried for a certain period of time in a shaded place until it solidifies, before it is ground and cooked with chickpeas. The addition of minced lamb or chicken is optional.
The kingdom’s national dessert of Maqshush is a rather humble yet enjoyable dish. It is actually named after a village in Saudi Arabia, and is made from buckwheat in bitesize pieces topped with ghee, honey, dates, molasses or sugar. It is a local dish best enjoyed during the winters when it is cold and rainy.
The Saudi Culinary Arts Commission launched the National and Regional Dishes Narratives initiative “in an effort to enhance the presence of the Saudi culinary heritage both locally and globally.”
The commission also has plans to identify the dishes that best represent the 13 regions of Saudi Arabia, and these will be announced later this year.