Get those taste buds tingling. Trying out and savoring Lebanese food is bound ot be one of the highlights of any trip to Lebanon, as the local cuisine, bursting with flavor, skillfully combining Mediterranean and Oriental influences, is simply one of the best in the world. So pluck up your courage and try some of the familiar dishes.
A Lebanese meal traditionally start off with a variety of hot and cold starters or Mezze, served on small round or oval dishes with a plate of fresh salad vegetables, such as lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes and green pepper that can be cut up and eaten up as accompaniment. There are over 50 different mezze and each family or restaurant has its own individual way of preparing and serving them.
Main dishes consist of meat Kebabs, usually chicken, beef or lamb, grilled over an open for to bring out the succulents and smoky flavors, but you will also find grilled and fried fish on the menu of many beach restaurants, where it is left to the head of the family to select the ice-cold display counter.
The Lebanese love to eat plenty of the flat pitta-bread with their meals, using it instead of cutlery, to scoop mouthfuls of food. See if you can spot mountain bread known as Markook, which is as thin as a paper and often used to wrap roasted chicken in.
If you still have room for more food, you can nibble on some fresh fruit or typical Arabic sweets, accompanied by coffee. In Paris you snack on a croissant, in New York a hotdog, London a sandwich, in Beirut it's a Manouche, a pizza like bread, traditionally spread with crushed thyme (zaatar), sesame seeds and olive oil or cheese, or a combination of both. A manouche should be served freshly baked from the oven and can be eaten at any time of the day.
Lebanese sweets are no exception. Make sure to taste the Beklawa or Kanafe Bi Jibin as a breakfast before hitting the slopes.