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4/1/09 A Shwarma a Day Keeps the Munchies Away

The food at camp is good if redundant. Every breakfast is hunks of baguette with jam and butter. Lunch is "salad" - cubed vegetables in a salty dressing - followed by a large hunk of meat. Dinner starts with harira, the delicious soup traditionally served every evening during Ramadan, and is then followed by an unconventional spaghetti-and-meatballs.

Why unconventional? Because every night, the dish of meatballs is served first, in the form of chunks of meat (rarely beef) floating in a greasy sauce. After the kids have mostly devoured that, a plate of pasta comes out, coated in butter.

I'm a lax vegetarian - which is to say, pre-Peace Corps I was a vegetarian from 1994 onwards, but here in-country I eat meat two to four times per month. I do my best to avoid red meat (which is usually sheep or goat, since beef is incredibly expensive) so I usually end up getting chicken every couple of weeks.

My extra-special-super-favorite form of chicken is shwarma. Shwarma isn't available anywhere in my province, so I only get to have it when I travel. It's hard to describe...imagine a cross between a chicken burrito and a gyro, with magical Middle Eastern spices mixed in. More or less. There's a fairly good description of it available here, or just google either shwarma or shawarma and enjoy the various links that turn up.

Anyhow, it's delicious, and not too expensive, and readily available in the Algerian border-town where we spent the we had a loooot of shwarma. I think I had enough meat for two or three months. But it was gooood. :)

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