The Doha diaries

Our Doha-based columnist has his finger on the pulse of the city’s foodie scene.

The meat of the desert

Thankfully, things have developed somewhat in the last 150 years of culinary history.

Camel meat is prized in the Middle East. On a visit to Saudi Arabia at the beginning of the year. The Prince of wales was treated to a whole roasted baby camel by the Crown Prince, on a recent trip to the region, the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, was so intrigued when he was served camel, that he whipped out his iPhone to take a photo. To most expats, the idea of eating camel meat is still somewhat of a novelty. Given it’s prominence in Middle Eastern cuisine, it’s still surprisingly undiscovered in the west, and worldwide, it accounts for only little over 0.1 per cent of all meat eaten every year.

That looks all set to change, however, with the number of fine dining restaurants in Doha including it in their menus. There’s no better place to try camel for the first time than at I D A M, Michelin starred chef Alain D u c a s s e ‘s first restaurant in the region. It’s succulent, tender and has a unique combination of flavours, on a recent visit to Doha, D u c a s s e, when asked about his process, commented, «The camels we use can’t be too young or too old.

known to be quite a tough meat, camel has a slightly nutty taste that resembles a coarse cut of beef or mutton, and is healthier than many other red meats, as it is leaner, packs in more protein than many of its counterparts, and is a great source of vitamin E. The hump, which is full of fat, is the most valued part, as it’s a lot more tender and fattier than the rest of the animal. For a slightly less adventurous way to try camel, you could check out the Signature camel Burger, available at Aroma Restaurant in the kempinski Residence and Suites, west Bay. Another, more traditional option that could break you in is the Baby Camel Tagine at Tajine Moroccan Restaurant in souq waqif. Since Ramadan is the time of year when many Doha expats get an opportunity to get a closer look at the local cuisine, why not make this Ramadan the year you tried camel meat?

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