Lebanese Food History

July 5, 2012 by Food in Lebanon

Lebanese food culture and customs

Lebanese food history has been influenced by a rich culture that has been passed down over the years. Lebanon was controlled by foreign rulers for many years and this has greatly contributed to the food consumed. For instance, since 1516 to around 1918, Lebanon was taken over by Ottoman Turks who brought different foods, including olive oil, fresh bread, laban (popular yoghurt); baklava (popular pastry dessert), as well as stuffed vegetables and nuts. France also controlled Lebanon until 1946 and during this time many food staples were introduced. The most common foods from France include flan, buttery croissants as well as caramel custard dessert.

Many people ask themselves what is Lebanese food? There are many foods that Lebanese themselves have ensured that they become part of their diet. The Lebanese recipes are mainly Mediterranean, and a common food is hummus which is chicken pea dip. The foods are naturally healthy with vegetables, less meat and enough flavors. Mezze is loved by many and it includes small dips, pickles, nibbles with khibbiz and salads to keep it nice. Mainly the salads are fattoush or tabbouleh while main dishes include grilled meat, chicken and fish, as well aswith bread or spiced rice.

Lebanese take wine or arak after meals since there are many gripes from which to make these strong brews. Most of the desserts are homemade and naturally healthy for both children and adults. The desserts include a variety of sweets like Baklawa, Knefeh, Maamoul and also various fruits. Black coffee is also common after meals and it is commonly known as Ahweh. This is served in the traditional Turkey format such that it is made very strong. Hot tea is also loved by many who cannot take the strong coffee. In general, Lebanese recipes are very popular and they are served widely in many restaurants or cooked at home.

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