If there is something I will never forget about my visit to Lebanon, besides the delicious flavors, it is the strong smell of fresh herbs. It does not matter where you are or the time of the day, that smell permeates your memory.
Lebanese cuisine is famous in the world for its variety of dishes, unique, healthy and tasty. It is, without a doubt, one of the best and colorful cuisines in the Middle East and the world.
Due to its strategic location in the Middle East and in the Mediterranean sea, Lebanon has historically been a passageway for commerce and travelers. Thanks to this, it has an influence of many cultures that have passed through their lands and left marks on their culinary map. Such is the case of the Ottoman Empire, which dominated the country for several centuries and those who inherited, among other things, the use of lamb and stuffed vegetables. Under the domination of France, after the First World War, desserts such as flan or croissants were introduced. Greece also had its influence on Lebanese gastronomy, leaving them as legacy their rolls of grape leaves stuffed with meat, or Armenia, who inherited the Makanek, small sausages of lamb or beef or a mix of both and a little spiced.
The variety of appetizers in the Lebanese cuisine is impressively huge. Its hummus stands out for its delicacy and exquisite flavor. Also eating tabule in Lebanon is a direct passage to glory. Its most popular meat is lamb and goat, but they also have exquisite poultry and beef recipes.
The Lebanese use olive oil, mint, spring onions, parsley and lemon very much in their culinary preparations. Their cuisine is also composed of an innumerable number of recipes for soups and stews, as well as salads, meats and seafood. They also include in their daily diet fresh vegetables, dried fruit such as pistachio, pine nuts and almonds, olives, cheeses, chickpeas and a variety of breads. For dessert they usually include fresh fruits, although they also use puff pastry, rice, nuts, creams, to create delicious desserts. Such is the case of the Meghil, a famous Lebanese dessert made with rice and which is usually present when visiting family or friends.
Due to its long coastline and its interior with large mountains with clear water rivers, Lebanese cuisine is also rich in seafood and freshwater fish. The greatest wealth of its gastronomy is linked to the amount of ingredients and the great variety of conservation and preparation methods. The Lebanese feel very proud of their gastronomy and try to keep it alive by always using the best products and respecting their culinary heritage.
I traveled to Lebanon to learn the secrets of their gastronomy and I had the opportunity to discover a part of its by the hand of a girl who showed me how to prepare tabulé, kihbeh, falafel and much more recipes in the perfect Lebanese style, but I was also lucky to have friends living in Beirut who, like me, are passionate about world cuisine and they showed me the best places to enjoy this delicious cuisine.
My duty now is to share these secrets with you and get you the opportunity to reproduce these delicious dishes in your own kitchen.