Lebanon is a middle eastern country located at the Mediterranean seacoast and shares borders with Syria and Israel. Lebanon is a historical country where ancient cultures, dynasties emerged. Nowadays, it is economically and politically struggling. Nevertheless, it does not restrain tourists from visiting the country. Lebanon is one of the most diverse countries in the region. Despite all the conflicts in the region, people with different faiths, religions, and nationalities maintain a peaceful life. People travel to Lebanon for a variety of reasons. While some travel freely, others must have a Lebanon visa depending on their nationalities. If you are from a visa-required country, in that case, you will need to get a Lebanon visa. You can apply for this visa through Pickvisa's services. Getting a visa through Pickvisa is one of the most convenient ways to do it. With a few clicks, anyone can complete the procedure and save tons of time, energy. Go to the services section at the top of your screen to learn more about visa services. As we said, Lebanon attracts people with different expectations. If you are into history, art, architecture, and cultures, you will find Lebanon fascinating. Having said that, what people probably most enjoy is Lebanese cuisine. Lebanese cuisine deserves all the praises it receives. Nothing will delight people more than the country's food fest to its visitors. Its diet is rich in ingredients, and some are served worldwide. Today's article will focus on Lebanon's best local foods to try. But before that, let's ask, "what is Lebanese cuisine?"
What is Lebanese cuisine?
To better understand the characteristics of Lebanese cuisine, we should look at Lebanese cuisine history first. The country has been an integral part of several ancient empires like Romans, Persians, Ottomans, and France. Nevertheless, it has never been completely cut off from its roots. But all these influences have affected its cuisine as it did its culture. Lebanese cuisine history dates back to millennials, and it can be arranged into different ages. We mentioned how others influenced Lebanese cuisine. However, it does not constitute that Lebanese cuisine has not left its mark in the region. Lebanese dishes are staples in the cuisines of other Arab countries. There are too many great examples of Lebanese cuisine, making it harder to fit into an article. It is so rich that even though the country is one of the smallest ones, its cuisine is divided into regions with distinct characteristics. Let's look at some of the best local foods in Lebanon.
As a Mediterranean country, pastry holds an important place in food in Lebanon. You will find many delicious pastries in the country. One of the best Lebanese food is considered to be Manaqish. Most straightforwardly, we can describe it as Arabic pizza. It is essentially a flatbread topped with various ingredients. Although the ingredients can vary depending on the choice, the main and most used ones are minced lamb and cheese. You can add different spices to make it savory. The meal is popular in the country, and it is easy to cook.
Making a list of the best Lebanese foods without adding Hummus to the list would be ridiculous. It is one of the most delicious vegetarian food you will ever taste. Mashed chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, and some local veggies are used to make this dip. The meal is creamy and is served with Lebanese bread called Pita. Hummus is primarily a breakfast dish; however, people use it for other purposes such as accompaniment to other dishes. Hummus is one of the most popular dishes in the Middle East, including Israel. Israel and Lebanon have been raging a competition to make the world's biggest Hummus over these years.
Baba Ganoush is another traditional Lebanese food popular in other middle eastern countries. It is a dip made out of various ingredients, veggies. The primary ingredients include tahini, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, all mixed with egg. Depending on the seasons, people add or remove some ingredients. Roasted egg to make Baba Ganoush adds a smoky flavor to the dish. It is decorated with fresh veggies. People eat it with Pita just like Hummus. Like many other Lebanese food names, Baba Ganoush has a meaning. It in Arabic means "Spoiled Daddy." What a hilarious name for the appellation of the dish. It is assumed to refer to the eggplant used for the dish.
Warak Enab is the Lebanese version of the dish most known to us as "Dolma." Dolma has been a significant source of debate among countries in Asia. Most countries claim it to be its traditional food. It is most prevalent in South Caucasus countries, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, Turkey, Central Asian countries, etc. Warak Enab can be made using various ingredients. Mostly it is a mixture of meat (cow, lamb), grain rice, garlic, onion, parsley, and different spices, wrapped around with grape leaves. Warak Enab is delicious, smooth, and is the best Lebanese food for many people. If you are not fond of meat, you can order vegetarian Warak Enab at various restaurants in Lebanon.
Kibbeh is a traditional Lebanese food and one of the most popular ones in the country. Almost every country has its type of meatball, and the Lebanese version is called Kibbeh. This ground meat is blended with different ingredients such as spices, wheat, onions, pine nuts, and other veggies. Similar recipes are popular among many countries. Kibbeh can be crispy, depending on where it is made. It is delicious and easily made. Most Lebanese women learn how to cook Kibbeh at an early age.
When we speak of the cuisine of a middle easter country, we should know that there will be similarities among the cuisines. Lebanon is not an exception in this case. Sambouse is a meat pie that is popular in the region. It is essentially a bread filled with meat blended with veggies, spices, etc. It is mainly considered a side dish. However, you can use it as the main dish as well. Unique cheese like feta or kashkaval is among the ingredients used to make Sambousek. It is an easy-to-make delicious food in Lebanon.
Lebanon is famous for its sweets. Knafeh is one of the most popular desserts in the region. Its fame has already exceeded the region and reached Europe and other continents. Nevertheless, it is most delicious in this region and especially in Lebanon. It is cheesy and extends as you grab it. It has a pleasant, sweet aftertaste. It goes well with hot beverages like tea or coffee.
We have not forgotten cookie lovers and saved a spot for them. Maamoul is a nut-rich cookie that is considered to be a traditional food in Lebanon. But it is also popular in the Middle East. Almonds, walnuts, pistachios are used in the cooking process. It is decorated explicitly with special molds. These types of cookies are made around Islamic holidays such as eid.
Shawarma is probably the most well-known food in the world. Its fame reached the global arena. You can find shawarma in almost every country today. Street vendors or small restaurants mainly sell it as it is easy and quick to make. They serve it even as take-out. It can be chicken, cow, or lamb, mixed with different veggies and spices and wrapped up by taco-like bread. This food is considered a descendant of Turkish doner kebab, and it is most delicious in Lebanon.
is a salad made out of leftover Pita, khubz, Arabic bread, greeneries, and veggies, mixed with olive oil. If we look at the origin of this dish, we will see that it was first made in northern Lebanon by farmers who fried leftover Pita and added vegetables and thus created Fattoush. Ground sumac is also used for the salad, and it is the thing that adds a tart flavor to the salad. Since we learned about the best local foods and Lebanese food names, it is time to wrap up this article. Lebanon is a great tourist destination with its wonders, landscape, history, culture, and cuisine. Anyone interested in learning more about the Middle East's cuisines should at least once visit Lebanon. To travel to Lebanon, one might need a visa. Pickvisa is, in this sense, the correct address to head as it provides the best visa services to get a visa to the country of interest.