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The Pleasures of Levantine Cuisine


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The Pleasures of Levantine Cuisine
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Unearth the Pleasures of Levantine Cuisine: 5 Lebanese Dishes You Must Sample

Lebanese cuisine offers a gamut of scrumptious dishes and recipes that are not only divine but also good for your health. Regarded a Mediterranean cuisine, the Levantine kitchen is predominantly made up of grains, cereals, olive oil, nuts, seafood and poultry. Red meat is eaten sparingly. If served, these are usually lamb or goat. The centerpiece of its cuisine is the use of herbs and spices with oregano, parsley, garlic, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon and mint the most common ones. Here are ‘must-try’ Lebanese dishes if you are looking for something novel to taste.


Start developing your palate and taste buds with Manakish. A great way to begin your day, this popular flatbread is prepared in a simple manner. It is topped up with cheese or ground meat and sprinkled with thyme. You can consider this as a food on the go that has proteins, carbohydrates and vitamins. Za’atar which is a combination of different spices such as sumac, sesame seeds, thyme and salt contain powerful organic compounds that are beneficial to the health reducing inflammation, boosting cognition, increasing energy and improving mood.


Considered Lebanon’s national dish, kibbeh is delicious and wholesome. It is made of bulgur wheat, onions, lean ground meat (lamb, beef, goat or camel) and spices such as cinnamon, clove and allspice. They are rolled into patties or balls and may be fried, baked or cooked in broth. Think of croquettes stuffed with meat and spices and you have the perfect kibbeh. Some also serve it raw so if you love a good steak tartare, this is Lebanon’s equivalent of the French classic dish.

Samke Harra

In general, traditional Lebanese diet is healthy and fish dishes are abundant. Samke Harra which means spicy fish in English is one such dish. Filets or entire fishes can be used in the preparation. It is marinated in spices, garlic, hot chili powder, lemon, coriander, pepper and salt. Samke Harra is a baked dish and topped with ground pine nuts and Tahini paste that will titillate your taste buds and senses with its flavors.


What’s not to love about tabbouleh? Vegetarians will love this side dish that is concocted with tomatoes, onions, parsley, red onions, bulgur and mint. It is dressed in virgin olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Light and healthy, tabbouleh salads are packed with healthy herbs, vitamin K and antioxidants.


Lebanese cuisine is also renowned for their pastries and while there are many gorgeous desserts that come to mind, you must not miss Mafroukeh. This rich semolina-based dessert is made of whipped cream, ricotta, lemon and orange blossom water topped with nuts (cashews, pistachios and almonds).

Expanding your palate and sense of adventure through different cuisines not only give you an opportunity to develop new taste buds but also the chance to learn from other cultures. Lebanese cuisine is one of the kitchens of the world that offers that and much more.

Jane Sandwood
Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:43 am View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
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