The depth of its spices, the abundant use of vegetables, and the use of all kinds of products make Lebanese food an event in world gastronomy. It is a friendly kitchen: its flavors and techniques are expressed in dishes that can eat all kinds of food currents.
Here, there is room for celiacs, vegans, and all food lovers without sacrificing flavor or traditional ingredients. In this article, we will discuss all major Lebanese dishes and the best Houston Lebanese restaurant if you decide to try a dish.
A MEETING POINT
Lebanon has the peculiarity of being a place where diverse beliefs and ways of thinking converge. Muslims, Orthodox, Catholics, and Christians coexist around the table, building a gastronomy rich in all senses. As well as that of other Eastern countries, it is a mixture that does not distinguish geographical borders. It shares traditions with its neighbors, and although the recipes vary from family to family, the dishes exist beyond their territorial limits.
Let’s talk about abundance because it is impossible to think of Lebanese food little by little. In most cases, women fill the table with specialties that embrace families and anyone who wants to share the table.
We can describe the mezzé as a gastronomic ritual, and here its own specialties and other adapted are included, hence the richness. This tradition consists of putting small plates in the center. There can be 40 or even more, either hot or cold, ready to be consumed by a family or a group of people in general.
The Lebanese food served in the mezzé -also known as meze- is a worthy representation of the Aladdin Mediterranean Cuisine diet that includes fruits, vegetables, fish, and seafood. There are also dishes with lamb, chicken, or beef; Imagination is important here since the mixture of ingredients and the use of different spices makes the difference between one and the other.
LEBANESE FOOD AND ITS TYPICAL DISHES
Baba Ganush, or Ganoush, is a paste from roasted eggplant mixed with tahini or ground sesame seeds. Added lemon juice, garlic, and pomegranate seeds and seasoned with cumin to this; when serving, season with olive oil and pomegranate juice or seeds.
Falafel is eaten in Egypt, the Middle East, and other countries, but Lebanon also enjoys this dish that consists of a croquette made with chickpeas or broad beans. It is used as a starter and can be served with tahini or yogurt sauce and pita bread.
You can also find it as fattoush, a salad that is not only eaten in Lebanon but also in other countries such as Turkey, Palestine, and Syria. It combines different vegetables, such as tomato or green leaves, with pita bread cut into strips or previously fried cubes.
In this dish, sumac is used, which is a spice that gives it a characteristic acid flavor; this can be further strengthened by adding lemon juice.
Due to its ingredients, it can be confused with fattoush. However, this salad is even greener because one of its protagonists is finely chopped parsley, and in fact, all the other vegetables are cut into very small pieces. Among its ingredients are wheat, tomato, lettuce, and some aromatic herbs seasoned with lemon juice.
KIBBEH OR KEPE
Kibbeh is the national dish of Lebanon and Syria and consists of bulgur -a preparation made from wheat- stuffed with minced lamb meat and mixed with onion and spices.
It can be eaten in two ways, raw and cooked. Both are flavored with mint leaves and seasoned with olive oil. Wheat provides a crunchy texture to meat eaten on lettuce leaves. When cooked, it resembles a croquette but has an elliptical shape like an American football.
The fatteh is different depending on the country in which you try it. You can find it in Egypt, Iraq, Yemen, Jordan, Palestine, and of course, Lebanon.
In Lebanese food, it is pita bread served in a bowl to which steamed chickpeas, aubergines, pine nuts, carrots, and in some places, grilled lamb are added, garnished with yogurt.
As its name says, fried eggplant is the main ingredient mixed with tahini, tomato purée, parsley, and lettuce. Due to the constant use of spices, it can be decorated with sumac and served with yogurt or pita bread.
Everything is used from the vitis vinifera tree: the fruits are grapes that color the tables or are fermented to make wine; The vine shoots are used to populate new vineyards with these wonderful plants. The leaves are cut and stuffed to make a snack.
This is perhaps the dish that best represents Arab and Lebanese food since everything fits in a vine leaf, knowing how to accommodate it. They can carry rice, rice with noodles, lamb, pork, lentils, chickpeas… The cook’s imagination is the limit.
To accompany anything, the Arabs take advantage of the ferment of cow’s milk to prepare Jocoque. The flavor is acidic but retains the dairy notes and goes perfectly well when seasoned with olive oil.
There are two varieties, fresh and dry. The first is the result of leaving the kefir -popularly known as Bulgarians- in milk overnight and salt and pepper. The second response is to rest and drain, which returns a grainy texture and is perfect for spreading.
Hummus is one of the most loved dishes in the Mediterranean. The star ingredient is chickpea, which is seasoned with lemon juice and zest, tahini, and olive oil.
It is usually accompanied by pita bread, jocoque, and baba ganoush; sometimes, the recipe is seasoned with sweet paprika and parsley sprigs.
WHERE TO ORDER LEBANESE FOOD IN HOUSTON?
You might be wondering how to get these dishes when you are in Houston. Aladdin Mediterranean Cuisine is one of the best Lebanese restaurants in Houston. Take the opportunity to order at home in this place that is in Houston, Texas City.
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