Pure cow ghee from the Egypt- and our first product from Africa! This stuff packs a punch and can hold up to any spice you can throw at it.
Hello friends! This week, we get our first submission from the great African continent! This ghee took us some time to find because, unlike other ghees, it's sold from cooler sections here and not in the oils aisles.
Egypt has an established tradition of making ghee, or samna baladi as Wikipedia helpfully explains. Though samna baladi is traditionally made with buffalo milk, Egypt also produces cow ghee and we are lucky enough to have access to it in Dubai.
Not a ghee for delicate flavours, this one really comes into its own when using lots of spices and to intensify rich, meaty flavours in rice or lamb dishes; two things Egypt is exceptional at producing!
If you're wondering why there's not much information on Azza, the company, it's because this stuff is relatively artisanal. We can still get some fairly uncomplicated farm-to-table products here and Azza is a big enough company to be able to supply giants like Carrefour and Lulu Hypermarkets here in Dubai but their reach does not yet extend to the likes of the Anglo-Internet. (I even had to get a friend to try and discern the brand name from the label because my phone couldn't figure it out).
Azza Cow Ghee Appreciation
Butter Break Down
Appreciation Date: 22/10/2020
Country of Origin: Egypt
Point of Procurement: Lulu Hypermarket Al Barsha, Dubai
Purchase State: Chilled; Fresh
Milk: Cow; Pasteurised
Salt Content: None
Milk Fat Content: 99.8%
Ingredients: 100% of Fresh Cow Cream
Declared Possible Allergens: None, but... milk.
Company Website: Nope.
In which we discuss Azza's Cow Ghee.
This is a powerful, full-bodied ghee that can hold up to flavourful cooking. Whilst some ghees straight-up smell like sweets, this one has a beefiness that lasts throughout the cooking process and really packs a punch at the end. Other cow ghees aren't necessarily as strong; the production process for this one must curate an intense flavour.
That being said, though, it still has a sweetness to it. It just doesn't smell like a toffee right off the bat. It's a solid, happy yellow that hopefully reflects some beta carotene in the cows' diet.
It's got good structural integrity, even when it gets a bit warm. It produced a very mild Maillard reaction when it came to cooking the ghee rice but it gave the rice a punchy almost musky flavour that would have been unbeatable had it been served with roasted meat.
This is a ghee that can be used as a flavouring agent as well as a cooking fat. It's not the sort of thing you would want to use for anything delicate or sweet (ask me how I know) but it truly comes into its own when used with meats or other strong flavours. It blends particularly well with sumac and cumin, perhaps for obvious reasons. Not a ghee for the faint-hearted, we like this one because it brings MEAT to the table and since we're not vegan anyway, it's a welcome addition!
Colour: Deep rich yellow with orange undertones; opaque
Aroma: Complex, rich, beefy with sweet notes
Taste: Beef, rich, pungent, powerful.