Tag Archives: Algeria Climate

Algeria’s typical dishes

We can not speak of traditional Algerian culture and lifestyle without first making a premise: Algerian cuisine boasts many differences between the coastal areas, therefore you can find the same diversity among the big cities such as the capital Algiers, and all the inland area; in the latter we can taste the real cuisine of Maghreb, without contamination. In coastal cities, however, the French cuisine has influenced a little all the traditional Algerian dishes. Not to mention the fact that, to satisfy all the tourists who arrive daily in Algiers and in other tourist cities, some restaurants even offer international cuisine.

However, even in these big cities, there are many restaurants that prepare traditional dishes exclusively belonging to Algerian tradition.

Of course, the couscous is somewhat “inevitable”, as in Morocco and Tunisia. In Algeria, the couscous is called KSEKSOU; then, according to the various ingredients, it can be a MASFOUF, a BARKOUKESS, etc…

We find flour as main ingredient of couscous in many other typical dishes, such as soups or desserts. One of these is the RFISS which is made from semolina, walnuts, dates, butter and orange blossom; then there is the KHFAF which is a semolina cake which, with the addition of honey, magically becomes the TAMMINA.

khfaf_de_kabylie-600x340

Photo CC-BY-SA Wicanto

Again with the flour in ALGERIA they do MAHDJOUBA, coming with a filling of tomatoes and peppers; the semolina pancakes are called BAGHRIR.

The vegetables, especially in the period of Ramadan, are the main ingredients of many soups, but also of many salads as for example that of grilled peppers, the FELFA, or the mixed pickled vegetables called TBIKHA .

As for the meat, it can be cooked in various ways, but the most traditional preparation is stewing it with vegetables, in suitable pans  called Tajines from which also comes the name of these dishes.

The meat is the main ingredient of meatballs, always very spicy, which can be chicken, the MHAVET, or lamb, the METEWAN. The KEFTA look very much like hamburgers.

The chicken meat is prepared in many ways, and each dish has its own name: the YAHNI is the fried chicken; the stew chicken with chickpeas is called CHETITHA DJEDJ, the stew with egg and lemon is called SFERIA; instead RECTHA  indicates a dish of chicken and semolina.

All of these savory dishes are accompanied by the Algerian bread, which is prepared without yeast, and usually cooked on the plate; normally during lunch they not used the cutlery, as the bread is precisely used to take food from large serving dishes.

Algeria is the motherland of a typical drink made of fermented milk and is called LBEN; this drink usually accompanies the sweets. One of these sweets is the TCHARAK, a croissant stuffed with almond paste.

Other traditional drinks are coffee, prepared in the Turkish way, or tea  -usually mint tea. Algerian wines are excellent, both the whites and the reds and rosés ones; some of the best wines are produced in wineries located in the western region of Algeria, in the provinces of Oran and Algiers.

Bon voyage then and have a good tasting in Algeria (click here to book a ferry)!

Algeria: weather and temperatures

What a wonderful feeling to leave behind the cold winter in the European continent for the heat of the African one in a hot country such as Algeria!

But be careful, because the weather situation can be very different according to the chosen destination. It is not always true that if we go to Algeria in winter the sun and the warm will welcome us anywhere.

In fact, all part of the coast with its capital Algiers does not bear many differences from other Mediterranean coasts such as those of Spain, France or Italy in the same period. If you want to get warm even in winter we have to go a lot further down, meaning in the Saharan desert.

If we start our trip in the summer, the entire coast is perfect as regard both the temperatures and the almost total absence of rain.

Apart from the capital Algiers, where you can arrive by ferry from various ports in the Mediterranean, there are many cities with its beaches to spend the holidays: starting from Oran, in the west, up to Annaba, in the easternmost, from Mest Ghanem and Skikda, the climate is the same. The only difference may be found in the water temperature, which is warmer in the east and slightly colder in Oran due to the currents from the Atlantic.

algeriPhoto CC-BY by Damouns

If you look at the map, you will notice that Algeria, meanwhile, it is the largest African nation, then divided into many very  regions, very different on both the geographical features and consequently the climate characteristics.

Starting from the north and getting down to the border with Mali and Niger, first of all we will find  the coastal region, then the mountainous area of ​​the Tell Atlas, the region des Hauts Plateaux (Highlands), the Saharan Atlas, the Western and Eastern Grand Erg, to get finally to the Hoggar area.

You will find mountainous regions with their  peaks, such as the Tell Atlas which reaches 2328 meters, and Hoggar which gets to even 2918 meters. These altitudes obviously affect the temperature and then, in winter, in these areas can also be snowing. The rain in winter is rare in Hoggar; instead it is more abundant in the area of ​​the Tell Atlas, especially in December and January, and almost not existent in the fall or spring. In summer, the only area that has major rains is Hoggar where it rains especially in August and September.

As for the temperatures, if we look at the city of Setif we notice that they are on average between 2 and 10 degrees in the month of January, between 7 and 18 degrees in April, 20 to 32 in August and between 11 and 21 in the month of October.

In Tamanrasset (or Tamenghest in Berber) instead, as it is located at an altitude of 1362 meters, in January the temperature will be ranging from a minimum of 5 degrees up to 20 degrees, in Spring temperatures remain between 20 and 23 degrees, as well as in the month of October; in Summer usually it will exceed 30 degrees.

tamanrassetPhoto Public domain

If we look at the coastal area, we see that in Algiers it rains abundantly especially in Winter, mainly in December and January. The average minimum temperatures are 5 degrees, the average maximum of 16 degrees. In April, they will be ranging from a minimum average of 8 degrees at a maximum of 20 degrees average. In Summer, in August, the minimum average is 19 degrees and the maximum average will be 31 degrees. In Autumn temperatures are still pleasant and, in October, easily reach 25 degrees. The sea temperature is quite low in Winter and Spring, about 15 degrees; in August it reaches 26 degrees and October is still pleasant to swim with a water temperature of about 22 degrees.

In Ghardaïa it rains more during the months of June and August and the average temperatures are of 8 degrees in January and 20 degrees in April, ranging from 33 degrees to 22 degrees from August to October.

The city of Laghouat is located 767 m above sea level; its climate can be described as desert with little rainfall. The month that sees the most rainfall is August which it is not the hottest month, though, with an average of only 28 degrees. In fact it is hotter in July when temperatures can soar up to 37 degrees. In January, it ranges from a minimum temperature of 3 degrees to a maximum of 12 degrees. In April, the minimum temperature is 9 degrees and the maximum of 23 degrees as in October.

Keep in mind that in many areas the temperature swings between day and night are quite notable and, therefore, it is important not to be surprised by these sudden changes of temperature. The best thing to do when travelling in these regions is to put more sweaters in your suitcase, even if you start in the summer, remembering to bring warmer clothing, even a duvet.

It would be a shame to ruin your vacation just because you are not properly clothed!