Lebanese cuisine ,read more about it in this amazing article .

lebanese cuisine1

A unique cultural history has helped to make Lebanese food the most popular of all Middle Eastern cuisines. For most of its past, Lebanon has been ruled by foreign powers that have influenced the types of food the Lebanese ate. From 1516 to 1918, the Ottoman Turks controlled Lebanon and introduced a variety of foods that have become staples in the Lebanese diet, including olive oil, fresh bread, baklava (a sweet pastry dessert), laban (homemade yogurt), stuffed vegetables, and a variety of nuts.

The Ottomans also increased the popularity of lamb. After the Ottomans were defeated in World War I (1914–1918), France took control of Lebanon until 1946, when the country won its independence. During this time, the French introduced some of their most widely eaten foods, particularly treats such as flan, a caramel custard dessert dating back to the 1500s, and buttery croissants.

The Lebanese themselves have also helped to bring foods of other cultures into their diet. Ancient tribes journeyed throughout the Middle East, carrying with them food that would not spoil easily, such as rice and dates. These foods slowly became part of the Lebanese diet. As the tribes wandered, they discovered new seasonings, fruits, and vegetables that they could add to their everyday meals. Exotic ingredients from the Far East (east and southeast Asia) and other areas of the world were often discovered by these early tribes.

The World Bank reports only about 2 percent of the Lebanese population is classified as undernourished, which means they do not receive sufficient nutrition in their diets. About 63 percent has adequate access to sanitation, and 100 percent to safe drinking water. Ninety-five percent of the population has access to health care services. Of children under the age of five, about 3 percent are underweight, and 12 percent are stunted (short for their age).

Fruit, vegetables, rice, and bread out-weigh the amount of meat eaten in the average Lebanese meal. However, the most commonly eaten meats, poultry and lamb, make up some of the country’s most popular dishes. The national dish, kibbeh (or kibbe ), consists of a ground lamb and cracked wheat paste, similar to paté. Kibbeh was originally made by harshly pounding the lamb and kneading in the spices and wheat. Those who were unfamiliar with this practice often found it quite unpleasant, including the English food writer George Lassalle, who described it as “frightening.” Some rural villages continue to prepare it this way.


Lunch, the largest of the three meals eaten each day, is usually served around 2:00 p.m. Mezze , several appetizer-like dishes, are served first. Warm bread, hummus (chickpea paste), and olives, cheese, and pistachio nuts are commonly served. Kibbeh , the national dish, is frequently the main meal. Kebabs (cubes of cooked meat on a skewer) and kefta (ground meat mixed with herbs and spices) are popular too. Baklava or a fresh bowl of melon will likely make for a sweet dessert. Most children nap after such a plentiful afternoon meal.

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