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Algerian cuisine differs slightly from region to region. Every region has its own cuisine, including Kabylie, Algiers (couscous) and Constantine. Pork consumption is forbidden to devout Muslim inhabitants of Algeria in accordance with Sharia, religious laws of Islam.
Algeria, like other Maghreb countries, produces a large range of Mediterranean fruits and vegetables and even some tropical ones. Lamb is commonly consumed. Mediterranean seafood and fish are also eaten and produced by the little inshore fishing.
Algerians consume a high amount of meat, as it is found in almost every dish. Mutton is the most eaten meat in the country, Poultry and beef are also used, other uncommon types of meat such as game, birds and venison and they are considered a delicacy, wild boar is also hunted and eaten, but pork will not be available on stores, you can only buy it from hunters directly, or have it served in some modern restaurants.
Vegetables that are commonly used include potatoes (batata/betetè), carrots (zrodiya), onions (bsel), tomatoes (tomatish/tømètish), zucchini (corget/qar'a), garlic (ethom), cabbages (cromb), and eggplant (badenjan). Olives (zéton) are also used.
The Kesra, traditional Algerian flatbread, is the base of Algerian cuisine and eaten at many meals. A popular Algerian meal is merguez, an originally Amazigh or Berber sausage. A common and one of the most favorite dishes of Algerian cuisine is couscous, with other favorites such as shakshouka, Karantita, marqa bel a'assel, a speciality from Tlemcen, and the dish chakhchoukha. Spices used in Algerian cuisine are dried red chillies of different kinds, caraway, Arabian ras el hanout, black pepper and cumin, among others. Algerians also use tagines, handmade in Algeria. Frequently Algerian food is cooked in clay vessels, much like Maghrib cuisine. Algerian cuisine represents the region north of the Sahara desert and west of the Nile. Algerian chefs take a lot of pride in cooking skills and methods and their many secrets lie in the variety of ways they mix special spices.
There are many different types of Algerian salads, influenced by the French and Turkish, which may include beetroot or anchovies. There are also dishes of Spanish origin in Algeria, like the Gaspacho Oranais, an Algerian version of a Manchego dish.
- Bagita (baguette) – a French bread staple food
- Shakshouka, chakshoka, shakhshosha – fried vegetables and egg on top
- Frites (omelet) – fries and egg on top
- Dolma – stuffed vegetables cooked in a stock
- Jwaz – a stew consisting of vegetables as (potatoes,carrots,onions,Tomatoes) and meat, sometimes Navy beans are included, it is a peasant food
- Lobia – fasolada- eaten in the winter a thick Stew of beans and chunks of carrots and potatoes, there is many versions of this with lentils, kidnet beans and other legumes
- Chtit'ha – eaten in wedding parties,consist of meat,onions and chickpeas in a red stock of tomatoes
- Shlada bsel – onion salad includes tomatoes, seasoned with olive oil and lemon juice
Desserts and drinks
Sweets like seasonal fruits are typically served at the end of meals. Common pastries include makroudh, nougat and Baclava. Halwa are cookies eaten during the month of Ramadan and some pastries are prepared for special occasions like for Eid-al-fitr and weddings. Algerians are the second greatest consumers of honey per capita in the world. Mint tea is generally drunk in the morning and for ceremonies with pastries. Algerians are heavy coffee consumers and Turkish coffee is very popular, and it is also drunk with some Turkish influenced pastries such as Baclava. Fruit juice and soft drinks are very common and are often drunk daily. Algeria previously produced a large quantity of wine during the French colonization but production has decreased since its independence,but there are some secular activist that want to produce wine again.
- "Luce Ben Aben, Moorish Women Preparing Couscous, Algiers, Algeria". World Digital Library. 1899. Retrieved 2013-09-26.
- "Food in Algeria". Food in Every Country (website). Accessed May 2010.
- French words: Past, Present, and Future. M.H. Offerd. 2001. Page 89.
- Research in African Literatures. Volume 34. 2003. Page 34.
- Merquez and Qadid, North-African preserved meats.http://www.cliffordawright.com/caw/food/entries/display.php/topic_id/20/id/41/.
- "Gaspacho oranais ou manchego". Coundris.chez-alice.fr. Retrieved 2014-08-27.
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