There are a number of customs and traditions that characterize the month of Ramadan in the Sahraoui provinces. Worthy of mention here is the use of some particular ingredients that some people hardly remember if not for some particular occasion. Of the traditions that have stayed with the inhabitants of the Sahraoui provinces is the great consumption of dates, milk products as well as meat. However, if some people should consider dates as a vital and extremely important foodstuff, a great number of people consider meat to be of no less value, as it is prepared for months in advance as well as consumed fresh every day.
In fact, one of the specific ways meat is prepared and preserved for a long period of time is the so-called “tinkit” (or “tichtar),” which consists of “ slaughtering a camel and distributing it in equal shares among the several families that make up a neighbourhood of tents commonly known as ‘lafrik’. Once a family receives its share of the meat, it proceeds with the cutting off of the meat, then removes and dissolves the fat until it turns into a white cohering liquid that is called ‘aludek’.
Thereafter, the meat is dried through direct exposure to sunshine. Once it is thoroughly dried, it is put in special plastic bags. In this case, the meat is called ‘tichtar’. The final shape of ‘tidkit’ can only be had after the dried meat is cooked on a small fire, and mixed with water in such a way as it looks like some dough , after which a little water (sauce), generally the one in which it was initially cooked, is added to it. At times, some special kind of fat is added, too.
For Sahraouis in fact, ‘tidkit’ and ‘tichtar’ are considered to be two of the best dishes that can be offered to any guest. They are also used as means of coming close to and doing well by the elderly, be they males or females, not to mention the fact that they constitute a traveller’s food supply.