Discovering the Flavors of the Mediterranean
Lebanese cuisine is a fascinating blend of cultures, history, and geography. This small Mediterranean country’s culinary tradition has become known worldwide, and Lebanese restaurants can now be found on every continent. The food itself shows the influence of Lebanon’s many years under the rule of the Ottoman Empire and France, as well as that of neighboring countries like Syria and Israel.
One of the most iconic dishes of Lebanon is Hummus. This creamy dip made from chickpeas, tahini, and olive oil is a staple of Lebanese cuisine. It’s often served with fresh pita bread and vegetables and is a perfect appetizer or snack. Another popular dish is Tabbouleh, a salad made from parsley, tomatoes, onions, and bulgur wheat. Hummus and Tabbouleh are often served as part of the sprawling appetizer course known as Mezza or Mezze. Whenever you sit down to a meal in Lebanon, you can be sure that the first thing to be put on the table will be a dizzying array of these small, delicious dishes. In fact, when eating Mezza, it can be difficult to leave room for the main course!
If you’re looking for something more substantial, try Kibbeh Nayyeh. This is a truly unique culinary experience: a dish made from raw ground lamb or beef mixed with bulgur wheat and spices. Kibbeh Nayyeh is often served with fresh mint and onions. I tried it several times in Lebanon, and while I was initially doubtful, the meat is succulent and flavor-filled. Manoushe is another Lebanese specialty that’s worth trying. This is a type of flatbread that’s topped with a variety of ingredients, such as za’atar (a blend of herbs and spices), cheese, or ground meat. meat.
Lebanese cuisine is also known for its sweets and desserts. One of the most popular is the famous Baklava, a sweet pastry made from layers of phyllo dough filled with nuts and honey syrup. Another favorite is Halawet El Jibn. These sweet cheese rolls consist of a cheese dough containing Akkawi cheese, mozzarella, or some other mix of cheeses, and they are often topped with pistachios and rose or orange-flavored sugar syrup.
Lebanese cuisine is a true delight for food lovers — a fusion of flavors that will take your taste buds on a journey through the Mediterranean and the Middle East. So if you’re looking for a culinary adventure, try some of these Lebanese specialties and experience the flavors of this incredible country.
Inside the Vatican Pilgrimages invites you to join us on an extraordinary adventure of spiritual renewal as we pilgrimage to Lebanon in September 2023. To learn more, visit our page Signature Lebanon: Ancient Monasteries and Modern Saints
By ITV Staff