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A Brief Introduction to Lebanese Cuisine

The cuisine is an important window into the roots of a region’s culture. It portrays, in a unique way, the way people live, their inclinations and even the history of the region. Lebanese cuisine in this matter does not disappoint with its rich array of dishes. Being the linking point between the east and west, Lebanon has had a fair share of influence from both sides. It is even said to be the point of inception of western civilization. For this reason, Lebanese cuisine has a touch of both, making it unique among all available food choices. To try it yourself, head on to your nearest Lebanese food restaurant in JLT today!

Lebanese Cuisine

Turkish & French Influence

Lebanese cuisine is primarily influenced by the Ottomans and later the French. From 16th century onwards, and for 400 years, the Ottomans ruled the region while heavily influencing the region’s cuisine. They introduced lamb meat for the first time. The use of pickles and other spices was also introduced. The stuffing of meat and vegetables alongside strong Turkish coffee became popular during this time. Ottomans also influenced the desserts of the region by adding a lot of baklavas, bread and nuts. Then the French ruled the region after the Ottomans until 1946, adding a completely antipodal touch to the cuisines. The French gave hints of European finesse to the cuisine and that’s where the quality of simplicity comes in the cuisine. The use of different kind of cheeses, sauces, and sugars can be attributed to the French. They also need to be thanked especially for their pastries, flans and other desserts.

Nomadic Influence

Nomadic Influence

Apart from Turkish and French influence, Lebanese cuisine still keeps evolving due to the countries’ heavily nomadic lifestyle. The Lebanese people in search for better job opportunities and life traveled many places around the world. When they came back, they brought back the things they like including the cuisines. One can now find cuisines from almost all parts of the world in Lebanon. This added a global flair to the already rich cuisines. Even before recent times when traveling was not an easy thing, Beirut was a cultural hub. It was even called the France of the middle east for its rich cultural diversity. Wanderers and nomads, from every corner of the world, would pass by and add a distinct taste to the mixture of recipes.