You can only understand what a wonderful world we are living in with your visits to different countries. One should travel to different geographies and see with her/his own eyes how geography affects the structure, people, religion, destiny, and food of a country.
In this article, I am taking you to the kitchen of the Middle East, Beirut, which is the capital and largest city of Lebanon.
It is possible to reach Beirut from Istanbul with a flight of approximately 1.5 hours. It takes about 15 minutes from Beirut – Rafic Hariri airport to the city center.
For tourists, Uber is the most widely used transportation in the city.
Although the native language of the Beirut people is Arabic, the educated population and young people can speak English very well. Therefore, you will not have any difficulties in communication. Since it was a French colony between the years of 1920-1945, many people also speak French.
Lebanon, which was the country with the highest welfare level in the Middle East before 1975, fell to the opposite position in the Middle East with the civil war that started at that time. Before the Lebanese civil war, the country was the financial center of the Middle East. Lebanon was the pearl of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East with its art, tourism, trade and tolerance.
At that time, the majority of Lebanon was Christians. These were Arabs, Armenians, Syriacs, and some Greek Christians. Many Christians fled the country during and after the war (about 1 million people), thus Muslims (especially Shiites) became the majority. Wars between Israel and Palestine always caused an influx of refugees to Lebanon. In this way, incredibly diverse food culture has been formed.
Let’s have a look at the kitchen in this fertile land:
1. Falafel is a deep-fried ball or patty made from ground chickpeas, fava beans, or both. Falafel is a traditional Middle Eastern food, commonly served in a pita.
2. Hummus is a delicious spread or dip made from chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and spices.
3. Baba Ghanoug is similar mezze like Hummus. A Mediterranean eggplant dip made from roasted or grilled eggplant, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and salt.
4. Tabbouleh is a basically super fresh herb and bulgur salad and served as part of a mezze in the Arab world.
5. Fatayer is a Lebanese meat pie in triangular shape. It also has another variety of fillings with cheese or spinach.
6. Labneh is a creamy soft cheese, made from strained yogurt and very popular in Middle Eastern cuisine.
7. Kibbeh is popular in Levantine cuisine, bulgur wheat is pounded together with meat into a fine paste and formed into balls. It is crisp on the outside and soft inside.
8. Kafta is the classic Lebanese Kebab. Beef and lamb mixed with fresh parsley, onions, garlic and warm Middle Eastern spices.
9. Shawarma is a delicious Middle Eastern meat treat that origins came from the Ottoman Empire.
10. Sfouf is a Lebanese almond-semolina turmeric cake. The turmeric gives the cake a beautiful yellow color and a wonderful taste. Consumed on birthdays, family reunions, and religious holidays.
11. Arak is a distilled alcoholic drink favored in the Middle East. Typically made from grapes, famous for the milky-white color it turns when water is added to it.
Have plenty of fun in advance.