Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Desert's "White Gold"

While many people back home are enjoying seasonal fare like the creamy, frothy eggnog, we here in Dubai are enjoying our own creamy, frothy drink - the "white gold" of the desert - camel's milk!

Widely drank in the region and even one of the staples mentioned in the Koran, camel's milk is one of the essential ingredients for survival in the Bedouin camps.  Now you can find it stocked in every grocery store and even flavored with banana, chocolate and strawberry.  A lot people tout the health benefits of the milk and insist that it can cure cancer, ease asthma and treat diabetes.

So it was only fitting, in Dubai fashion, that we make a competition out of finding the best camel's milk around!

The three-day Halab competition is open to Asayel, or pure-blood, camels from the UAE or Oman and dark-skinned Majahims that are originally from Najd in Saudi Arabia. There was no place for mixed breed camels, and the owners must have taken an oath: "I swear by Almighty God that this camel is rightfully mine and it is pure-bred."

On the first day of the competition, more than 80 Asayels were shortlisted to 15 for the final round the next morning. Deri'a, a tan-coloured camel owned by an Emirati, came first for producing 11.7 kilograms of milk. Omani-owned Hamra was second, with another Emirati camel third. Almost 90 Majahims went through a similar process, the field being narrowed down to 15 before a top 10 was chosen.

At the end of the three-day competition an Emirati-owned camel came out tops in the Majahms catagory too!

Looks like we've got some award winning camel's milk here in the UAE.

Anyone want to put orders in for Christmas?

1 comment:

jimdad said...

Udderly entertaining...

Does the winning camel get to retire to a life of leisure, or is this one of those things you're better off losing?

And of course... where can we get the T-shirt from this year's competition?