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Get a taste of Egypt on Google Arts & Culture

Illustration of a sea of hands holding up bowls with pieces of food hovering above them and jumping out (fish, meat, herbs) and a background of warm orange that looks like the rays of the sun.

Editor’s note: Today’s post is authored by Amr El-Kady, Chief Executive Officer at the Egyptian Tourism Authority, based out of Cairo.

I’ll never forget the smell of my parents’ home on a Friday morning. We’d be woken up to the tantalizing scent of Feteer meshaltit, layers upon layers of buttery pastry, floating into our rooms. My siblings and I couldn’t wait to devour it with “black honey,” or the succulent “Fool” (fava beans) served with hot Baladi bread. This was the aroma of my childhood, one that I passed onto my children. And every family I know has their own nostalgic smell that links to a special homemade meal and a moment in time.

Now we can revisit those moments, and explore Egyptian cuisine, in a brand new way. “Sofret Masr” — “A Taste of Egypt” — launches today on Google Arts & Culture. This collection was put together in partnership with Rawi, an annual publication that highlights Egyptian history and art, and Nawaya, a community-based network that promotes Egyptian heritage food systems. The project includes more than 1,700 high-resolution photographs, 60+ expertly curated stories and more than 30 videos of Egypt’s culinary history, dishes, culture and places for an immersive digital experience for those hungry for a taste of Egypt.

  • A flavorful breakfast plate of fava beans, falafel, vegetables and pita bread.

    Fuul and Ta'meyya Breakfast from the collection of Nawaya

  • Dense and moist cake made with ground tiger nuts.

    Tiger Nut Cake on a Plate from the collection of RAWI

  • Spicy tomato stew with poached eggs.

    Shakshooka from the collection of Nawaya

  • Street vendor offering traditional licorice treats in Cairo.

    Licorice Seller in Cairo from the collection of RAWI

  • Savory Egyptian dish with pasta, lentils, rice, and crispy onions in a tomato sauce.

    Kushari from the collection of Nawaya

Food as a bridge to culture, history and identity

People around the world come together over meals, and they can learn a lot about each other's history and culture through food. Egypt’s food culture reflects the diversity and nuances of Egyptian identity. From cities along the Mediterranean — like Marsa Matrouh, Alexandria and Port Said — to those further south along the Nile — like El Nuba or along the South Sinai mountains — you can now embark on a rich culinary journey across one million square kilometers and 7,000 years of culinary history through “Sofret Masr”.

  • A colorful ancient Egyptian painting depicting various scenes of daily life, including farming, hunting, and religious rituals.

    Tomb of Rekhmire Illustration from the collection of RAWI

  • Ancient Egyptian painting depicting people presenting offerings of food and drink to deities.

    Food Offering Scene | Tomb of Menna from the collection of RAWI

  • Ancient Egyptian painting depicting a celebratory gathering where individuals converse and share refreshments.

    Banquet Scene with Women Drinking Wine from the collection of RAWI

  • Ancient Egyptian artwork depicting a religious ceremony with offerings of food.

    Facsimile of a Food Offering Scene from the Tomb of Nakht from the collection of RAWI

Ancient Egyptian cuisine

Food is a key and often underrepresented part of Egyptian culture. Egyptian cuisine is as diverse as its history, with many recipes tracing back to ancient roots. Expertly curated stories highlight how modern dishes — like fiseekh, a sun dried and salted fish — were actually inherited over generations. Just look at how inscribed recipes on tombs feature ingredients that are a staple in the modern day kitchen.

A history of cookbooks in Egypt shares one of the first written recipes that is over 2,000 years old. In the tenth century, the blending of sweet and savory dishes became more popular, with dishes such as apple and beef stew growing in popularity. There’s no doubt that over the years, the introduction of new ingredients, such as aubergine and pasta, influenced the foods we eat today and inspired many of our current favorites, like Koshary and Taameya.

Setto's Sofra, meaning "Granny's Dining Table," captures the essence of traditional home-cooked meals in a family setting.

Setto's Sofra (Granny's Dining Table) from Rawi’s collection

Family, food and celebrations

Food is also a social experience. Discover the significance of the foods Egyptians eat when celebrating and how there is nothing quite like the anticipation of a special meal at grandma's family gatherings. Those with friends from Egypt might also know how many of us eagerly await summer. That’s not just for the welcoming beachside holiday, but for mango season, when 60 variations in all their tropical glory make their way to our markets (and taste buds).

In Egypt, we always say “Sofra Dayma” or “may the feast live on” after a delicious meal, and it shows how food is more than a recipe — but a feeling of home. I hope that "Sofret Masr" welcomes you to my beautiful homeland and that you continue to feast with us.

Visit, available in English and Arabic. Or download Google Arts & Culture’s Android or iOS app to immerse yourself in the flavors of Egypt.

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