African cuisine is a generalized term collectively referring to the cuisines of Africa. The continent of Africa is the second largest landmass on Earth, and is home to hundreds of different cultural and ethnic groups. This diversity is also reflected in the many local culinary traditions in terms of choice of ingredients, style of preparation and cooking techniques.
Traditionally, the various cuisines of Africa use a combination of locally available fruits, cereal grains and vegetables, as well as milk and meat products. In some parts of the continent, the traditional diet features a preponderance of milk, curd and whey products. In much of Tropical Africa, however, cow's milk is rare and cannot be produced locally (owing to various diseases that affect livestock). Depending on the region, there are also sometimes quite significant differences in the eating and drinking habits and proclivities throughout the continent's many populations: Central Africa, East Africa, the Horn of Africa, North Africa, Southern Africa and West Africa each have their own distinctive dishes, preparation techniques, and consumption mores.
Middle Eastern cuisine or West Asian cuisine is the cuisine of the various countries and peoples of the Middle East. The cuisine of the region is diverse while having a degree of homogeneity. Some commonly used ingredients include olives and olive oil, pitas, honey, sesame seeds, dates, sumac, chickpeas, mint and parsley. Some popular dishes include kibbeh and shawarma.
Thousands of the two main species of Australian feral camels, mostly dromedaries but also some bactrian camels, were imported into Australia, mainly from India, during the 19th century for transport and construction as part of the colonisation of the central and western parts of Australia. Motorised transport replaced the camels' role in the early 20th century and many were released into the wild. As of 2009[ref][dead link], the feral population numbered about one million, with a doubling time of about nine years. These camels are being culled because they are degrading the environment and threatening native species.
About 10,000 camels were imported into Australia between 1860 and 1907, primarily for transport use across the centre of the arid continent. Most of the camels brought to Australia were dromedaries, especially from India, including the Bikaneri war camel from Rajasthan as a riding camel and lowland Indian camels for heavy work. Other dromedaries included the Bishari riding camel of North Africa and Arabia. Camels from the other main camel species, bactrians, were introduced from China and Mongolia.
Over the past few decades camels have regained recognition for their food-producing potential in arid and semi-arid areas of Sudan. After having been dismissed as uneconomical by the Sudanese government, their vital role in supporting human populations in some of the poorest and frequently drought-stricken areas of the world has now been widely acknowledged (Hjort af Ornäs, 1988). The devastating African drought in 1984-1985 demonstrated that camel ownership can give pastoralists a competitive edge and an excellent chance for survival. Whereas entire herds of cattle, sheep and goats succumbed to the arid conditions, camel populations survived relatively unscathed. Consequently, some pastoral groups with deeply ingrained traditions of cattle herding, such as the Samburu in northern Kenya, started to acquire camels (Sperling, 1987), a fact which has come to the attention of development agencies and international organizations.
In parts of the rain-fed agricultural belt of the Sudan, current developments suggest that camels are indeed able to be integrated with crop cultivation systems. They can exploit efficiently the by-products of large-scale mechanized durra (sorghum) cultivation and may even mitigate some of the ecological side-effects for which these monocropping schemes are known.