So what’s the best way to wash down that falafel and cool off under the heat of the Arabian sun? Forget gahwa, you can keep the traditional coffee for later. In fact, many people in the Arab World choose the cocktail known as fakhfakhina to enjoy when they need a fruit fix in the desert!
Put simply, fakhfakhina is the Mother of all Fruit Salads (just be careful how you pronounce it…). In essence, though, that’s all it is: a fruit salad. It’s just that in the Arab World, in particular in Egypt where it is consumed voraciously on the streets, they chuck on ice cream and real fruit juices to make a spectacular concoction that looks every bit as good as it tastes!
I am told that you can even find flavoured tobacco for your hookah in the flavour of fakhfakhina so that proves its popularity in this part of the world. Ever seen Arab guys sitting on the roadside smoking shisha? Chances are, some of them were enjoying a fruity flavour! Personally, as I’m not one to smoke, I’d much prefer the drink version and you can find some amazing cafés scattered around Egypt, especially Cairo, that sell it for a good price.
Farghaly Fruits is a Cairo-based juice company (that may have originated in Saudi Arabia) that serves up some of the best fakhfakhina in the region. Often just called a generic ‘coctel’, this drink consists of the freshest fruit to be found in the area, and with some of the nicest ice cream stashed in the cup as well, it really cools you down on a summer’s day. Incidentally, it seems western-style ice cream is used for fakhfakhina, as opposed to the Syrian Booza ice cream, which is renowned in these parts. Still, whatever ice cream is used, it sure does the trick and it compliments the fresh fruit perfectly.
There’s no way I’m drinking gahwa in the Arabian sun when I could have a cool sip of fakhfakhina!