Food Of The Feast: Ramadan

While the time may change each year, Ramadan starts today and runs (roughly) until August 7th, based on the visual sightings of the crescent moons. While we usually advocate the possible menu options of holidays, Ramadan’s nature as a religious observance centered on fasting leaves us to point out the nature of the fasting month. Muslims observe the month of Ramadan by by fasting, but there’s a few things to remember.

Who is exempt?

  • Muslims who are traveling, menstrauting, pregnant, diabetic, breast-feeding, and are severely ill are allowed to eat.
  • Those who are ill or traveling are to make up the days later.

When can practitioners eat?

  • During non-sunlight hours, as Ramadan only prevents eating during sunlight.
  • A pre-dawn meal, Suhoor, allows for energy throughout the day.
  • A post-dusk meal, Iftar, is allowed to break the fast. Tradition was that the fast would be broken with three dates.

Possible health problems

  • As with any adjustment to one’s diet, fasting may lead to physical complications. As the fast is broken every day, the effects will likely be minimal.
  • Electrolyte imbalance, “crankiness”, and such decreased energy that come from skipping meals.

Keeping in line with the holiday, restaurants may want to stay open late or open early for the clientele that follows the religious observances. Being able to meet the time demands of the fast may endear you to your clientele.