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5 must-try foods at the Egyptian Festival

It’s a huge festival weekend in Dayton, and here’s a cultural festival that may not be on your radar.

Below are five Egyptian foods that are well worth trying at the 19th annual Egyptian Festival. The event runs from Sept. 7-9 at the St. Mina and St. Abanoub Coptic Orthodox Church in Miamisburg. 

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You'll get a glimpse of Egypt's rich culture through the Khan El Khalili Bazaar with dozens of exhibits, entertainment, music and food.

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WHAT TO EAT

The 19th annual Egyptian Festival will be held from August 26-28 at the St. Mina and St. Abanoub Coptic Orthodox Church in Miamisburg. (Contributed)

1.) Stuffed grape leaves

Stuffed grape leaves, or dolma, is a common spiced dish from the Middle East and surrounding areas. The leaf can be filled with meat, rice or vegetables and can be served both hot and cold.

2.) Ground costa beef 

Just like it sounds, this is a Costa Rican-specific ground beef commonly eaten with chayote —a green tropical fruit with a cucumber-like flavoring.

3.) Macaroni pasta with bechamel sauce 

A buttery, white, Egyptian sauce used when making macaroni pastas that is both cheesy and creamy.

4.) Chicken and lamb kabob or shank

This doesn’t need much explaining because most people have had a kabob or shank with steak or pork. Lamb is popular in the Middle Eastern countries, and will be offered at the Egyptian festival in the form of a shank or grilled kabob.

5.) Feteer meshaltet

This Egyptian pastry is a flaky, thin-layered breading that can be left plain or jazzed up with chocolate, cheese, meat, cheese, honey, or other foods. It looks simple to create, but is actually difficult and requires a bit of experience. Traditionally, it's served for religious holidays, weddings or special occasions, according to chefindisguises.com. There will be other Middle Eastern pastries served at the festival.

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WHAT TO SEE AND DO

The 19th annual Egyptian Festival will be held from August 26-28 at the St. Mina and St. Abanoub Coptic Orthodox Church in Miamisburg. (Contributed)

Egyptian souvenirs include art on papyrus paper and jewelry. Friends and family can enjoy modeling traditional Egyptian costumes and posing in front of posters with existing landscapes and pyramids.

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There will also be tours of the church and museum every hour, allowing participants to enter an exhibit showcasing the life of monks and learn more about the history of the holy family and their journey to Egypt.

With more than 2,000 years of history, the Egyptian culture “is something different from the American culture," said Emad Shenouda, a member of the church and coordinator of the festival. "It’s a very lively festival for three days. The food — we get a lot of good comments, and the souvenirs, pastries and photo shop, people really like that. The church tour is very, very popular.”

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Guests can shop, win raffle prizes, play games, tour exhibits, watch entertainment and participate in tours. There will be carnival games and face painting for children. 

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Want to go? 

WHAT: 21st Annual Egyptian Festival 

WHEN: 4-9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 9 

WHERE: St. Mina and St. Abanoub Coptic Orthodox Church, 1531 King Richard Pkwy., Miamisburg. 

COST: Free admission and parking 

INFO: (937) 866-0622 | WebsiteFacebook

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