Celebrating Lebanese Cuisine

I was thrilled to see the feature on Lebanese food in the New York Times travel section this Sunday.  I hope you’ll check it out here, along with a slide show of the Beirut restaurants profiled in the article by Seth Sherwood.

My husband is Lebanese and I’ve grown to love the cuisine — even more since I’ve traveled there and experienced the fabulous food first-hand.  Here’s a creamy bowl of hummus we enjoyed last summer in Lebanon…img_2073

I loved Seth’s description of his experience with hummus in a restaurant in Beirut.


“First up:  hummus.  Call it sacrilege, but I have never been excited by this humdrum dip.  But the others insisted, in a flurry of English and French (both of which are widely spoken in Beirut, although Lebanon’s official language is Arabic). Hummus is the best barometer of a Lebanese restaurant’s quality, Ranya explained.  Following her lead I took a corner of warm bread, rolled it into a cone (a nifty trick for scooping up dips) and tasted.  It was excellent: lush, mouth-filling, creamy and flavorful — like an earthy milkshake.”

The article also included a perfect description of tabbouleh.

Such moments are blissfully common in Lebanon, where even the most bland produce or unlikely meats undergo culinary hocus-pocus and emerge, Cinderella-like, as belles of the ball.  Parsley, elsewhere found more often as a throw-away garnish, becomes the basis of that zesty, lemony, tomato-filled, bulgur-sewn refresher known as tabbouleh. The zesty tabbouleh, everyone showed me, should be eaten not with a fork, but wrapped in a lettuce leaf.

So true.  Here’s the tabbouleh with romaine leaves we enjoyed in a restaurant in the mountains of Lebanon.
IMG_2155And here’s a visual culinary tour of my own trip to Lebanon…

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6 Comments

  • I love Lebanese food! Thanks so much for sharing pics from your trip! It looks like food heaven!

  • What beautiful pictures. You’re making me hungry for a trip to Lebanon, and for all it’s delicious food!

  • Thanks Janet! Great pictures! I miss all this food–in Jordan it’s pretty much the same stuff but maybe slight differenes. And we don’t get the green cactus fruit (prickly pear) or the green figs here in the US. Too bad!

  • Thanks Janet for spreading the word about the greatness of Lebanese food! I especially liked the pic with the man peeling cactus fruit! I sure miss that!

  • Janet

    Thanks TasteOfBeirut.
    So glad you stopped by. I really enjoy your blog. You have wonderful recipes and photos. It’s helping me learn to cook more Lebanese food at home. You do a fantastic job!

  • It really taste as amazing as i went in to hummus n foul in dubai amazing dish 🙂

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