(People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, الجمهورية الجزائرية الديمقراطية الشعبية, République algérienne démocratique et populaire, Tagduda Tadzayrit Tamagdayt Taɣerfant )
- Location: Northern Africa
- Capital: Algiers
- Language: Arabic, Berber, French
- Population: 35,434,516
- Total Area: 2,381,741 sq km
- Currency: Algerian dinar
- Curious Alcohol Fact: A nation of Muslims, beverages such as coffee and tea are consumed all over the country and alcohol is not easy to come by, except in the capital city of Algiers.
- Annual Average Liquor Consumption Per Capita: 0.96 liter
- Most Popular Drink: Coffee, mint tea
The second largest country in Africa by surface area, Algeria is a vast nation. It stretches from the Mediterranean to the inhospitable desert of the Sahara. Some of the hottest surface temperature readings have been made in this nation. Algeria was once an outpost of the ancient Roman Empire and it later became incorporated into the defunct Ottoman Empire and after that, it was colonized by France. Widespread nationalist struggle ensured that the nation became independent in 1962. One of the largest producers of crude oil in the world, Algeria is poised to become the largest country in Africa with the formation of South Sudan.
Algerians are some of the most hospitable people on the continent. Arabs form the chunk of the population and the Berbers are the most significant minority group. Thus, unlike some of the other African nations that I visited, Algeria does not have hundreds of tribes and ethnic groups. However, one thing with all these groups is that they give warm reception to all their guests and tourists are treated to some of the nicest meals and drinks. Some of the most popular Algerians are known worldwide. An example is the French footballer, Zinedine Zidane who comes from the Kabyle region.
Like in many other African nations, food is an essential part of the culture, and I really had a fantastic time trying out the various meals. In many of the towns and cities, food was not in short supply at all. The couscous was my first meal in Algiers. This dish is considered the Algerian national dish and is made from wheat. In most parts of the country, it is served with meat and vegetable soup. Considering the fact that meat is also a very popular feature of the Algerian cuisine, many meat-based foods like briz and merguez are also available.
Like in many other nations in Northern Africa, beverages are very common and are served during meal times. In many of the places I visited in Algeria, I discovered that taking beverages has become more of a custom and tradition. Mint tea and strongly-flavored coffee are some of the most popular drinks in the country. At a nomadic village in the south of the country, I enjoyed a cup of coffee flavored with cardamom. Apart from this, I also sampled the sharbat, a sweet drink made with milk and fruits. Getting alcohol was not easy unless one visits some of the bars in the capital city of Algiers.
The most popular sport in Algeria is soccer, and there is a national football team called the Desert Warriors. This team is one of the most experienced on the continent and is highly respected. Apart from soccer, Algerians also enjoy other forms of sports such as athletics, volleyball and handball.
Story By World By Shotglass
©2013 World By Shotglass. All Rights Reserved
Special thanks to our contributors:
Adebayo Ahmed Adebola (Ilorin, Nigeria).
Gallery of Shot Glasses