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PALESTINIAN CUISINE

No visit to Palestine is complete without engaging in one of its most exciting attractions—its food.

Noticia Expositor G

Colorfully varied and above all—delicious, the cuisine of Palestine follows the traditional Levantine style, with tables replete with an endless array of delectable appetizers and light meals called mezze. Breakfast is an enjoyable affair with its mouthwatering mezze components like humus, baba ghanoush (spicy barbecued eggplant paste), falafel, sfiha (a ‘mini pizza’ laden with meat and pine nuts), manaqish (bread toast soaked in olive oil and topped with oregano or cheese), kubbeh (small fried meatballs stuffed with onions and sumac), sambusac (baked pastry stuffed with cheese or meat), and choban salad.

Typical Palestinian entrées are culinary wonders that include spiced meat, poultry, seafood and vegetables. The traditional meal is mansaf, which is popular at events. It consists of a large rice plate covered in yoghurt-stewed lamb and garnished with fried almonds, pine nuts and parsley. maqluba is another sumptuous traditional dish consisting of lamb or chicken slowly cooked with rice and vegetables which are then turned upside-down in its own pot, hence the name. You might as well try mahashi—eggplants, onions, potatoes and zucchini stuffed with rice and meat slowly cooked in spicy tomato sauce. And of course, you may want to wash down your meal with any selection of local drinks such as the ever sweet kharroub (carob juice) or the distinct sweet and sour tamar hindi, or tamarind juice. Want to enjoy more and make it more traditional? How about a cup of Turkish coffee to go with all that?

To culminate your gastronomic experience, try Palestine’s famed kunafeh for dessert. This is a thin-layered crust of noodles or semolina flour baked over sweet cheese bathed in copious amounts of rose-water syrup.  Other sweets and pastries worth trying are baklawa and the pistachio-filled burma.

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