Here is my photo slideshow of the process of cooking koshary that symbolizes a food tradition of an Egyptian family. Scroll down to view a part of the introduction. For the full text of the introduction, press DOWNLOAD.
Koshary is one of the dishes that is invented entirely by Egyptians. Egyptians are said to collect all the remaining uncooked food ingredients at the end of every month and cook them all together. This historical story, in my opinion, has an economic value as well as a cultural and traditional value. Economically, it highlights a way through which middle-class households sustain their living during the last days of every month when their monthly salary is over as the case with almost all working classes. It also served as an investment in what they have remaining instead of throwing it away in the trash. Culturally, it shows how working-class Egyptians tended to handle their living when they are almost out of money at the end of each month. Additionally, it highlights some of the differences between social classes in Egypt. Although koshary was originally invented by middle-class Egyptians, it has gained huge popularity and become one of the favorite dishes for all Egyptians. In specific, it is one of my family’s favorites. It is a family tradition that my mother cooks koshary for special events, such as Eid al-Fatr and Sham El-Nassem (the spring day). Although it is common for Egyptians to eat a certain type of fish during this last feast, my family eats koshary, the tradition that has become a traditional celebration of Sham El-Nassem. Accordingly, this year my mother has decided to cook koshary for us as part of our celebration of this day.