Oct 22 (Reuters) - A Dubai cafe, trying to give a modern twist to an old Bedouin tradition, has started putting camel products on its menu.
Cafe2Go, launched in September last year by an Emirati entrepreneur as part of a scheme to revive Bedouin traditions, now features camel-lattes, camel-ccinos and camel-meat fajitas.
Earlier this month, he launched Camellos -- a brand name for his products derived from the Spanish word for camel.
"Camel milk has been around for centuries and I wanted our younger generation to start drinking it again," Jassim Al Bastaki, the cafe owner, said. "From here came the idea of mixing it with modern drinks."
Camel milk has been a staple for desert Arab nomads for generations. However its boom in modern day food and beverage industries in the UAE adds a new level to its commerciality.
Apart from being a novelty in the glitzy home of the world's tallest building and the man-made palm islands, Bastaki swears by the health benefits of camel milk. Studies show it is almost as nutritious as human breast milk and offers 10 times more iron and three times more vitamin C than cow's milk.
The challenge in marketing the product comes from the taste and smell. Unlike common dairy products, camel milk is slightly saltier and has a heavy taste, and from the smell, one knows immediately where it came from.
Bastaki said he had spent months testing different concoctions on family and friends before coming up with the perfect blend.
"Camel milk is known for being a healthier choice," he said. "We just had to find the right coffee bean mix and degree of steaming the milk to make it taste good." (Reporting by Amena Bakr; editing by Sami Aboudi and Paul Casciato)
Though it means "little French girl" or "little frenchie" in Portuguese, there's nothing little about a Francesinha. They did get the French part right - the sandwich is a take on the French croque monsieur...on steroids. One tale claims it originated in Porto with a Portuguese emigrant who returned from France to his native land and adapted the French grilled ham and cheese for Portuguese tastes. Apparently that meant joining two slices of bread around some combination of steak, sausage and ham, crowning it with melted cheese and dousing it with a tomato-beer sauce. Adding fries and/or egg makes it "especial." Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/gemitux/407798020/" target="_hplink">GemiTux</a>/Flickr
Indian (Navajo) Taco, United States
Also called an Indian taco, this sandwich is a specialty of the native peoples of the Western United States. The base of the sandwich is frybread, which is exactly what it sounds like - rounds of deep fried dough. (It's also the state bread of South Dakota dontchaknow!) To build the taco, just pile on beef, beans, shredded lettuce, chopped tomato, cheddar and maybe some sour cream or green chiles. You know, like a taco... Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/usinside/4738614445/" target="_hplink">pspechtenhauser</a>/Flickr
Kati Roll, India
The Kati Roll is a popular Indian street food, likely from Kolkata (Calcutta). This perfectly portable pocket starts with a flatbread called paratha. This is rolled around a kabob-style meat - kati kabob - that's mixed with vegetables and sauce. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/josiahlau/5429483545/" target="_hplink">Josiah Lau Photography</a>/Flickr
Gelato Sandwich, Italy
The concept of an ice cream sandwich is nothing new. But we're talking a bonafide sandwich, with real bread - none of that chocolate wafer nonsense. In this Sicilian specialty, a brioche bun takes the place of a cone, cup or cookie. What's even cooler? This chilly treat is often meant to be eaten for breakfast. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/orangebrompton/3832528279/" target="_hplink">orangebrompton</a>/Flickr
Bunny Chow, South Africa
We might be taking liberties calling this dish a sandwich, but it is served on bread. Bunny Chow, a South African creation, has its origins among Durban, South Africa's Indian community. It consists of curried stew stuffed into a hollowed out roll or bread loaf. Don't worry; it's not prepared a la Glenn Close in "Fatal Attraction". In fact, there's no rabbit in the dish at all. Instead the sandwich typically includes mutton, chicken or bean. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/agoodway/4907359205/" target="_hplink">Arnold Goodway</a>/Flickr
Chip Butty, United Kingdom
Certainly not a buddy to anyone's waistline, this popular U.K. snack is pure fat and carbo overload. The chip butty has possible origins in Liverpool, and is generally associated with the Northern U.K. And, unsurprisingly, it is tied to the pub scene. Making one of these monstrosities couldn't be simpler. Grab some bread - white bread is a must - smear it with butter and cover with chips. Those are French Fries for those of us on this side of the pond. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/click-trackheart/5317113337/" target="_hplink">Click-track heart</a>/Flickr
The signature sandwich of the Mexican state of Puebla, the Cemita is distinguished from its cousin the torta by a soft egg bun topped with sesame seeds. Fillings are simple, but can vary. Meat, like fried steak or carnitas, is typically topped by Mexican white cheese, avocado, onions and chipotle sauce. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/37601286@N06/4994396822/" target="_hplink">GSZ</a>/Flickr
Pan Bagnat, France
Possibly the healthiest of our sandwich line-up, Pan Bagnat takes two favorite lunchtime foods and mashes them into one. Basically, this specialty of Southern France is a salad sandwich. Based on the fixins of a salad Nicoise, a Pan Bagnat filling will have some combination of olives, tuna, anchovy, cucumber, onion, tomato and capers. This will all be brought together with a vinaigrette, and the juices will seep delightfully into the bun. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/kochtopf/760207039/" target="_hplink">kochtopf</a>/Flickr
Rou jia mo, a Chinese street food from the Shanxi province, has often been compared to the hamburger or sloppy joe, but those are just sloppy comparisons. First, there's no patty, a flatbread bun is used. Second, it looks way better than anything the cafeteria lady used to serve. The meaty filling -- usually stewed pork, beef or lamb in Muslim areas -- is spiced, chopped and mixed with peppers. Let's see the lunch lady pull that one off. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/garysoup/3462849608/" target="_hplink">Gary Soup</a>/Flickr
In Danish, Smorrebrod translates to "butter bread" or "bread with butter," but these little sammies are topped with countless combinations of meat, fish, cheese vegetables and more. Originally a workingman's food, their first iteration was dark rye bread spread with butter and topped with slices of last night's meat. After time, the recipes became more elaborate, and Smorrebrod became a beloved dish served in homes and at restaurants across Denmark - usually served alongside beer and alcohol. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ilmungo/47491866/" target="_hplink">ilmungo</a>/Flickr