by SALIM AL AFIFI
You can’t come between locals and their love for mishkak skewers and stone-cooked mathbi meats. Omanis have a long-standing love affair with grilling. This relationship started many years ago. Our ancestors first learned to cook over an open flame, and today grilling has become a year-round lifestyle choice with many preferring to cook outdoors on the grill.
Why do locals love grilling so much? The reasons are wide-ranging. Some grill to relax. The backyard is their escape, and the flame calms them. Others barbecue for nostalgia. The grill is a time machine to the best childhood moments. Many grill for the sheer joy of cooking. The sizzle on the grates, the smell rising to the sky, the juices dripping on the coals.
As we enter peak grilling season, here are 5 reasons to why we love gathering around the flame.
1. It Turns Food Cooking Into A Social Event
If there’s something the locals love is a good socialising time. It’s in our DNA, and grilling outdoors does that and more. What if the heart of the home isn’t in the kitchen but rather in the outdoor kitchen? This appears to be the case, as dinner guests love spending time outdoors near the grill, where all the action happen.
2. Grilled Food Is Naturally Fresher
Grills seem to naturally encourage the cooking of fresh meats, fish, and vegetables. You’re not going to have to worry much about being served processed foods—or even rich, creamy, calorie-laden stuff—hot off a barbecue. Take the king of street food: Mishkak, a fresh skewered meat that’s charred to perfection and served on the spot, steaming with appetising aromas.
3. It Makes Use Of All Your Senses
The bases of smell, sight, sound, and of course taste are all covered when grilling. And, isn’t it more thrilling to cook over fire than to peer into the door of an oven every so often with boring views of the stove. Barbecuing makes the cooking feel like more of an event, and we love it.
4. It’s Quite Instinctive
It could be said that cooking over a live fire is in our DNA. The cavemen did it; we want to, too. There is something magical and quite instinctive about grilling in the open that makes it a wonderful experience.
5. It Gets You Outdoors
Well, barbecuing doesn’t exactly equate with taking a hike in the woods, but it’s still a way to get people outside, which is naturally grounding and calming. Take a trip to your nearest wadi for a quick weekend escape and feel positive energy and instant change in your mood – it’s fascinating.
6. No Kitchen Cleanups
Dinners prepared on a barbecue require less cleanup afterwards. This makes dinner taste that much better; who doesn’t love to savour the best of fire-kissed meats without worrying about washing dishes after?