Algeria

Algeria is in North Africa on the Mediterranean coast. It borders Tunisia, Libya, Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, and the mediterranean sea. It is the tenth largest country in the world and its largest city is Algiers.

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Algeria has had many settlers through its history: Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, Turks and French.  In 1954, the Algerians rebelled against the French. The rebellion kicked off the Algerian War, which lasted until 1962 when Algeria gained its independence. After the war, the country’s economy was highly dependent on oil; and in the 1980’s, when the oil prices dropped, the economic conditions became dismal and many fled to France. In 1992, elections were canceled to avoid a Muslim leadership takeover, and Muslim militants started to take out their frustrations on civilians.  This started a state of emergency which was lifted in 2011. They are still thought to have unfair elections, censored media, and harassment of political opponents.

Berber is an ethnicity in north Africa, and there is a large population in Algeria. This has a direct influence on their cuisine in how they use lamb, vegetables, grains and dried fruits. The other influences come from nations that have conquered them in the past, including the Turks, Arabs, and the French.  The primary ingredients of Algeria are cumin, caraway, marjoram, coriander, fennel, lamb, chicken, and mediterranean fish. They are passionate about their couscous and I read that if you are a woman and don’t know how to make couscous you will not be able to marry an Algerian man.

This week I’m going to make:

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