Lebanese cuisine is comprised of whole grain, starches, veggies, fruits, seafood, and fresh fish, while animal fats are used thinly. They consume poultry more than red meat. Their dishes involve profuse amount of olive oil and garlic and lemon juice. The Lebanese diet involve herbs, garlic, lemon, and olive oil. Their dishes are often baked, grilled or sautéed in olive oil. In desserts, they often use cream or butter. They prefer raw or pickled veggies than cooked ones. Their cuisines depend on the time of the year or the seasons in the country.
Their national dish is Kibbeh, cooked from minced onions, ground red meat of goat, lamb or beef, burghul, and rice. Its most popular variety is a torpedo-shaped fried croqueted filled with minced meat of lamb or beef. Variations of Kibbeh are shaped into patties or balls and are either cooked in broth or baked.
Next is the Tabbouleh, a Levantine Arab salad, prepared with tomatoes, bulgur, fine-chopped parsley, onion, garlic, mint, lemon juice, salt and olive oil. Other variations use couscous other than bulgur. It is customarily given as part of mezze in Arab; some varieties were made of Turks and Armenians, and now a well-known ethnic food in the West.
Fattoush is a Levantine bread salad created from fried or toasted pita bread pieces mixed with veggies. The cooks use seasonal produce, combining various herbs and veggies according to taste and stale pita to make Fattoush. The veggies are sliced into large pieces in contrast to tabbouleh which used fine-chopped ingredients. What gives fattoush its sour taste is Sumac.
Baklava is a pastry made up of layers of filo stuffed with chopped nuts and covered with honey or syrup. It is a perfect dessert or snack anytime of the day.
Another popular Lebanese pastry is the Ma’amoul. They are mini shortbread pastries stuffed with either walnuts, pistachios or dates, sometimes almonds or figs. They are available in various shapes; they could be flattened, domed or ball-shaped. There are molds available for shaping them, but cooks can use their hands as well.
Stouf is a unique Lebanese dessert. It is an almond-semolina cake, created from semolina flour wit pine nuts, sugar and turmeric that give its distinguished taste.
The Lebanese also have an eggplant dish called Baba ghanoush. The eggplant is mashed and combined with seasonings and olive oil. It can also be cooked in other cooking styles like broiling over open flame before peeling or baking. It is commonly consumed as a dip with pita bread or khubz.
Halva is a Lebanese dessert which has two types: flour-based or nut-butter based. The flour based halva is somewhat gelatinous in consistency and comprised of grain flour (semolina), sugar, butter and clarified butter. The nut-butter based is crumbly in consistency and comprised of sesame paste (tahini) or sunflower seed butter and sugar.
Lastly we have Manakish, the Lebanese pizza. It is composed of dough with thyme, ground meat or cheese toppings. It can be folded or sliced. It is usually eaten during breakfast or lunch.
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