Tuesday 2 June 2015

Travel Tuesday: Street Food in Iraq

Mazgouf, a fish native to the Tigris River, being cooked by an open fire at Abu Nuwas Park, Baghdad. This is a local specialty. The fish is cut in half and cooked. The remaining skin acts as a bowl as you scoop out the gooey innards.

There's been a lot of grim news coming out of Iraq for a long time now. Usually when we see Iraq on TV we see some psycho fundamentalist or something that's just blown up. So it's important to remember that real people still live there and are trying to make the most out of a bad situation.

Back in 2012 I traveled to Iraq and wrote a series about it for the now moribund travel blog Gadling. It was one of the best and most intense trips of my life. Click the link to read the series. Sadly, the photo galleries have been taken offline, but you can still read the articles.

So here, for your culinary enjoyment, are some photos of the food, mostly street food, I ate while I was there. There are more after the jump. Bon appetit!
Mazgouf ready to be eaten.

Fruit stand on the highway to the north of Baghdad.

Cooking shish kebab near Mosul.
Doner kebab, anyone? It's just as greasy here as it is in London!
Shot of the restaurant by the highway near Mosul. The two above shots are from this restaurant.

Sweet shop in Karbala.
Want some?
A taste of home.


Sioux Roslawski said...

It's always intriguing to see shots of life in other countries... especially life in the Middle East.

(Is that Mountain Dew?)

D.G. Hudson said...

Great photo study, Sean! I like the defining photo at the bottom - a taste of home, except with it's own foreign label. Nice contrast. That fish certainly looks yummy, but are those guards at the long shot of the restaurant (the guys in camo gear)? I always enjoy your travel photos very much.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

So many colors, flavors, and new things to try - I wouldn't know where to begin.

Sean McLachlan said...

Sioux: It's "Mountain Rush". You could also buy "Wrinkles potato chips" and other imitations of Western snacks. Oddly, these were made by Western companies and distributed by regional ones. I suppose the name change was some sort of trademark protection.

D.G.: Those were our guards. In most places they wouldn't let us go anywhere alone. The only times I got to go out on my own was in Baghdad, Basra, and Kurdistan.

Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog, where he focuses on Civil War and Wild West history.

You can also find him on his Twitter feed and Facebook page.