If you don’t love Lebanese food, there may be something wrong with your taste-buds, but it’s okay, we forgive you! Mouthwatering, fulfilling, appealing and ever-so scrumptious, Lebanese cuisine is loved by many all around the globe.
Lebanese cuisine is highly sought after and a popular choice for many all around the world, coming from different cultures, religions and backgrounds. The Lebanese cuisine certainly has a long, rich history which has, in turn, made it what it is today. Without the travellers and merchants bringing their culinary secrets and sharing them with the Middle Eastern culture, Lebanese cuisine may have not stood the test of time.
Lebanese cuisine is very unique and can not be compared with any other. If you haven’t already discovered, it is filled with a variety of rich, tasty options. You will definitely come across a succulent variation of meat, usually lamb, along with some zesty salads, delicious dips, vegetarian mezza and let’s not forget, most importantly, a side of BREAD.
- Wholesome, nutritious and sustaining
Indulging in a Lebanese feast usually includes your plate being full of a variety of small dishes. You will never just have one thing on your plate, and if you do, it won’t be for too long until someone realises and fills up your plate once again.
A Lebanese meal is quite fulfilling and satisfies your hunger just fine. With a range of flavoursome and interesting spices, be prepared for your belly to dance with these fresh, beautiful flavours (and maybe work against your jeans).
- Rich in flavours
Now, when we say rich, we don’t mean financially. We mean rich in flavour. Yes, of course, you knew that.
A key trait of Lebanese cuisine is the rich flavours it delivers in every meal. Full of flavour, texture, goodness and nutrition, you will go on an exquisite food journey when you lose yourself in Lebanese cuisine. This cuisine has been passed down from generation to generation and is just as rich today as it was centuries ago. With refinements and modern touches along the way, it may have even become better.
One thing Lebanese cuisine will never lose is its traditional flavours, spices and zest.
These characteristics continue to be loved all over the world with many Lebanese food menus and restaurants making an appearance all over the world map.
- Multi-cultural influences
Lebanese cuisine has a unique cultural history. The humble country has previously been ruled by multiple foreign powers that have had a major influence on how Lebanese food menus have evolved. However, the strongest influence comes from the Ottoman Empire rule in the 16th century, controlling many aspects of Lebanon, including its cuisine!
This, in turn, led the Lebanese culture to incorporate flavours and ingredients which were an influence from different Middle Eastern cultures and traditions. These traditions have transformed the cuisine into an explosion of flavours that can not be found in any other cuisine.
Spreading the flavour, love and culture, Lebanese cuisine has made its mark on the world.
Don’t know what mezza is? Don’t worry, we will tell you.
Mezza is a selection of small dishes which are usually served at the beginning of the main meal, similar to the concept of an ‘entre’ to the main. Interestingly, the tradition of mezza is found in many cuisines of the former Ottoman Empire and comes from the Persian word mazze meaning “taste” or “snack.”
Mezza can be considered a meal in its own right. Usually, it includes a range of vegetarian and meat dishes where dishes arrive at the table at around four or five at a time.
More than anything, mezza is an experience. It is a much-loved tradition of laughter and company, that stretches for hours and is not only celebrated in Lebanon but in many neighbouring Middle Eastern countries.
The mezza banquet consists of both hot and cold options, accompanied by fresh vegetables, pickles, nuts and bread. Common Middle Eastern mezza options include:
- Baba ghanouj
- Salads such as tabouli, fattoush
- Grilled vegetables
Mezza becomes a social event amongst many and encourages people to sit around, conversate and linger around the table. Dishes are brought out in a way where diners can enjoy the dishes slowly, enjoying every single flavour and every single bite.
Let’s take a moment to put the spotlight on some of the key dishes served during Mezza. You really can not enjoy a Mezza without freshly baked bread. This is the ultimate accompaniment to any Lebanese cuisine experience. Enjoying it alongside a variety of dips, salads or just on its own.
Did you say cheese? For all the cheese lovers, Haloumi is a must. This choice of cheese is usually included in any Mezza and will always feature a plate of or even two. Although this cheese is not of Lebanese origin, it has become a modern staple in many mezza banquets. The delight about this cheese is that you can even serve it grilled. Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. We are in cheese heaven.
How can we forget the tabouli? A classic staple of Lebanese cuisine that has been a part of the cuisine for centuries and is definitely an essential element of any banquet.
A traditional mezza consists of a variety of tasty dips with the three classics being labneh, hummus and baba ghanouj. Mouth-wateringly delicious and full of flavour, this dip trio goes perfect with hot, fresh bread!
There are many more must-haves for a Lebanese mezza, but these are the ones we can’t live without and are incorporated in Lebanese food menus all around the world.
Mezza has become loved by many different cultures all around the world and we know why!
If you haven’t tried a traditional Lebanese feast that starts with mezza and ends with your button popping, then you are in for a treat.
Sahra by the River serves a variety of Mezza options that you won’t be able to resist, right in the heart of Parramatta. Merging cuisine, experience and a variety of flavours, we serve the finest elements of the Lebanese culture through our food.