Western Influences in Qatar : Food. By Hannah Blackburn-Jones. Traditional Foods.
By Hannah Blackburn-Jones
Qatar has a very big range of traditional food, from seafood to mutton. Usually breakfasts are very light, which consist of olives, cheese and yogurt, then lunches are very heavy and start off with many appetizers and then move on to lamb stews, salads and cooked vegetables. One favorite in Qatar is Humus, which is made from chickpeas and sesame seeds and can be eaten with anything
Lebnah is a very common yogurt drink, tea, and in Qatar, so is Coffee. Arabian coffee consists of lightly roasted beans that have been sweetened and is served to family and guests. Qahwahhelwa is a very sweet coffee that is served on very special occasions.
Muslims do not eat pork or consume alcohol as it is against there religion, and only eat halal meat. Halal meat is based on minimizing the pain for the animal, and cutting the jugular vein so all the blood can be drained from the animal, Muslims can not eat meat if it has not been killed in this way.
There are very many food traditions for Qataris, but its starting to be overshadowed by the new cultures, especially American. I asked a friend who has lived here almost his whole life and he told me that when he was younger, there were very little American fast food chains and restaurants around Qatar, but as he grew up he saw that this had expanded a lot. He also said that he thought that having all this fast food is having an effect on eating habits because children have cravings for unhealthy food and candy.
Wedding food in the past for the men is still the same as now. Traditionally, the there is no cutlery for the food, so you eat the food with your right hand. Some favorite dishes are machboos, whole cooked lambs, humus, coffee and so on. For woman, the weddings used to be in houses, with traditional food on the floor, now its different cultured buffets at 5 star hotels.
Breakfast and dinners would always be light, and lunches would be heavy. And on Fridays after prayers family's would have a big family together. Now, western cultures have introduced so many new foods and eating habits that traditional food is being more used during special occasions and family occasions, while everyday fast food is more commonly eaten because of western influences on food today.
I think that the western side of the world does have a big impact on the more cultural Qatari food, but I don’t think everything will change. Some daily food did change, but some traditions that will stay strong are the men’s part of the weddings, with the traditional feast, and also with only eating halal meat. You can even see Muslim impacts on western food, such as fast food, which only serves halal meet.