Arabian Food

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

Arabian food a term used to indicate the food of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and the Sultanate of Oman, which constitute the Gulf Co-operation Council countries of Arabia. They cover some 2.5 million square km (965,000 square miles) and have a population of about 25 million, of whom a substantial proportion are expatriates. This results in the availability of a very wide range of foods. (There is a separate entry for yemen.)

The terrain is varied with extensive desert areas, a long coastline, and mountains in the eastern and western fringes. The monsoon reaches the southern coast but the majority of the land receives only occasional rainfall. The agriculture does, however, achieve a wide range of produce although it is only well developed over limited areas of the peninsula.