March 20, 2019

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  • Buttered Up: Rave reviews

    BY SARAH KHANNA It is a rare occasion to find me visiting a Cairo restaurant based on a local review; but how much of this is my fault, this fear that I should not trust what is seemingly penned down without an afterthought? Do I skip over errors in technique descriptors and succumb to a world of uninteresting words that gives me nothing but cues that the reviewer cannot move past terms like “mouth-watering,” “amazing” and, I say this with a sigh, “perfect”? Today, many Egyptians who have not stepped foot in a kitchen have decidedly taken on the online…

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    Chit Chat on the Nile: Last summer?

    BY HEBA ELKAYAL Last month, I did the most frivolous thing I have ever allowed myself to do: buy a plane ticket and travel to another country to attend a concert. Lady Madge, aka Madonna, was set to give not one, but two concerts in Abu Dhabi as part of her MDNA world tour and a friend had a ticket to spare. I appreciate a good pun and I suspected Madonna’s tongue-in-cheek tour name wouldn’t involve anything related to the party drug MDMA but certainly a musical and visual high. I have spent money recklessly on shoes and dresses but…

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    ​Buttered Up: Fusilli & fuss

    ​ BY SARAH KHANNA Educated Cairenes are a funny bunch, often blurring the lines when it suits them, merging reality with a glorious fantasy world where they are “better” for speaking English, where they are proficient based on a skill learned, in no detail, online. ​Among the new things that have recently astounded me in Cairo is the ability of some to flounce around the city introducing themselves as chefs without toiling in the grease of a hot kitchen — day in, day out. Some could argue that a chef in essence is the mastermind behind the menu, the director…

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    Buttered Up: Tryst with brownies

    BY SARAH KHANNA Cairo: Consider the intricacies of a brownie — in simple form, studded with chocolate chips, coffee-spiked or infused with mint. We’ve seen variations with cream cheese and white chocolate adaptations; and while I prefer a brownie that will assuage my chocolate yearning, I insist that the texture of my brownie is chewy with a soft, fudgy center. These versatile squares can be broken up into three main categories: the chewy brownie, the cakey brownie and the fudgy brownie. The reason I generally eliminate cakey brownies from my list is this: if I want cake, I’ll make cake….

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    Buttered Up: Wild food

    BY SARAH KHANNA Cairo: “What are those?” I asked, looking down at my sneakers, at the stains beneath them sprawled over the floor of my friend’s garage, free of cars and quietly enclosed behind the looming gates of their villa. “I can’t remember their name,” Jinan shrugged, “but we can eat them.” Away from today’s trends of foraging for plants we can eat, I hesitated at the notion back in 1994. “Are you sure?” I said making way for the burgundy stains to show themselves, to reassure my insecure self that they were ingestible as she comforted me — 10-year-old…

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