Monday, April 8, 2013

Day G: Guffa, and buffalo cream

This April, I will be participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge, writing about the A to Z of Iraqi Culture. Do give in your own two cents in the comments below and let me know if you have anything to add or something similar to share from your own culture.


This is a guffa- a boat traditionally used to carry both passengers and cargo across the rivers Tigris and Euphrates.

The circular design is meant to provide a greater area to fit a greater number of people or things in one journey. You can see how economical it can be!

The guffa is made from wooden sticks and straw- here's a picture from 1914 showing its making.


Iraqis often use the word Geymar to describe a beautiful girl. Trust them to sneak food even into their flattery! An early morning peek into the kitchen window of any home in Iraq will reveal one of the essentials of Iraqi breakfast: Geymar, fresh cream made from buffalo milk, usually eaten along with honey or dibis (date syrup) and a hot samoon loaf.



  1. That looks like one tasty dish. I've never tried buffalo milk before. I wonder how similar the taste and texture is to cow's milk.

  2. Geymar... looks delish. I read somewhere that buffalo milk - or maybe it was something else, I'm not sure - is so rich in taste, people value it over cows milk, and all that jazz... o.o

    And that boat looks like fun ^_^

  3. "guffa" - the sound of the word would mean a kind of laughter to someone here - UNTIL they read your post and see this boat - it looks like a really fun experience - what a great idea.
    Thank you very much!
    Happy A to Z!

  4. That guffa is really interesting looking, I wouldn't think it would move to smoothly through the water.

    AtoZ #41.

  5. My husband will love to have a breakfast of Creme and Date syrup. I did not know they could make syrup from Dates.
    "Guffa" looks like "Tubing boat" in America. It must be fun, as I know tubing is a lot of fun for young people. Goofi is a forgetful characteristic of a person.

  6. Interesting information! Didn't know that there could be round boats! And I can't imagine comparing beauty to Buffalo cream...but yeah! :)

  7. Thank you so much for doing this theme. I will love learning more about your culture and its food. Stopping by from the A-Z and a new follower.

  8. Hopping by with "A to Z." What an interesting post. I can't believe the 1914 boat could actually float. I've never seen a boat like that. How neat.

  9. Are the boats still made in the same way?

  10. Another interesting post. The boat is fascinating and the breakfast sounds delish!
    Katie atBankerchick Scratchings

  11. Great theme. Round boats had to be difficult to steer.

  12. I read your post yesterday and I thought I already commented. Oh well.
    The Geymar look yumm. A great them you've got here.
    Happy A-Zing! :)

  13. Hi Ghadeer - the boat looks distinctly unstable when everyone gets on one side! But fascinating to see one and also one being made ..

    While the breakfast - looks delicious too ..

    Cheers Hilary

  14. Yummmyyy! and I want to sit in the boat


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