Loz el ard
Hab’ el aziz, or loz el ard, are edible tubers sometimes called fruits or grains, found at the end of the root system of Cyperus grass (Cyperus esculentus), a plant similar to the same family of Papyrus. The Cyperus esculentus, also called chufa sedge or tiger nut sedge, can be found wild as a weed, or as a crop.
There are testimonies of this cultivation in Egypt since the 5th millenium BC and it has been a great source of nutrition in Egypt. The Ancient Egyptians also used the plant for medical purposes and they used the plant for everything, even for mouth chews.
One plant can produce several hundred, even more, tubers during a single growing season; with cool temperatures the foliage, roots, rhizomes and basal bulbs die but not the tubers.
Hab’el aziz is a small and round, similar to a nut and it has a smooth tender, sweet and nutty taste. It is usually prepared for lactating mothers, as it has a high nutritional value. It can be eaten raw or dried, or as a tiger nut’s milk or oil. When used dry it is placed in water to reconstitute it.
Traditionally, during the winter months Hab’el aziz were sold by street cars at the local markets as a snack; their replacement by sweets, candy and junk food has really decreased the consumption.