It is said that Lebanese food is the most popular in the Middle East because of the Mediterranean climate which offers it a great variety of vegetables and fruits and also the possibility of preparing a culinary diverse meal based on seafood and fish. Nothing more true if we think of the impressive combination between simplicity and diversity of the Lebanese dishes.
This noble feature of gastronomy can easily be seen in a traditional Lebanese meal. Mezze is a combination of cold and hot dishes served in bowls that are placed in the middle of the table, in order to facilitate the sharing of the food between the diners. The number of the bowls can vary from 6 to 100, depending on the number of people and, of course, the ampleness of the event. Traditional Lebanese meal nicely separates from other cultures through its atypical particularity. It is said that you have to be pretty generous when it comes to preparing a mezze, offering the widest range of dishes. There are no rules in bringing them to the table, but there must be a balance in serving them. It begins with the cold dishes and then, as they are prepared, the warm ones are brought to the table for serving. In this way, a perfect mix is created, which makes you discover more. The meals are served in small bowls, so that people can eat a little bit from each dish prepared. Small quantities give the possibility of setting a big variety of foods on the table.
Mezze may contain different dishes as: the beloved homos prepared in various ways (Beiruty homos, homos with pine seeds, beef homos, homos with sujuk - pieces of spicy sausage, homos with meat and pine seeds); baba-ghanuj - eggplant salad with pomegranate sauce; moutabal - eggplant salad with sesame paste; labneh - yoghurt cream with olive oil (garlic, mint or thyme can be added to it); shanclish – spicy cheese salad with tomatoes, onions, parsley and thyme; halloumi - Lebanese cheese on grill; magdus - baby eggplant stuffed with nuts, chili and olive oil; muhammara - a delicious combination of nuts, hot pepper paste, crushed croutons, olive oil and pomegranate sauce; warak-ainab - prepared from vine leafs stuffed with rice; falafel – mixture of chickpeas, broad beans and spices.
The meat is also nicely seasoned in this delicious culinary mix. It is cut into small cubes in order to be shared by everyone. Some examples of such dishes are: ras-asfur – tender meat cubes (usually beef or chicken) cooked with onions and spices (the most prominent ingredient is pomegranate sauce); sharhat – fried sliced meat (usually beef or chicken) seasoned with lemon, coriander and mint; makanek – fried Lebanese lamb sausages in pomegranate sauce and lemon; chicken kebbe – crushed wheat stuffed with minced chicken and pine nuts.
The secret of the Lebanese cuisine is the possibility of eating different foods in small quantities, in order to delight everyone by offering them a complete gastronomic experience. Mezze emphasizes culinary diversity, stimulating a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Lebanese cuisine is well-known for the light and flavorful dishes that are appreciated by everyone due to their variety.
Photo Source: Four Seasons
Back to Blog