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Unforgettable Eats & Drinks: Jordan's Top 5 Tastes

Feb 7

In this blog post, we will take you on a culinary journey through Jordan. Get ready to tantalize your taste buds with some of the country's most delicious and unforgettable dishes. From traditional Jordanian cuisine to modern fusion options, Jordan has something to satisfy every palate. So, let's dive in and explore Jordan's culinary scene.

Explore Jordan's culinary scene

  • Traditional Jordanian cuisine: One of the highlights of visiting Jordan is experiencing the authentic flavours of its traditional cuisine. From the iconic Mansaf, a dish made with tender lamb cooked in yoghurt sauce and served with rice, to the delectable Makloubeh, a layered dish of rice, meat, and vegetables, every bite is a true delight.
  • Middle Eastern influences: Jordan's proximity to other Middle Eastern countries has also influenced its culinary offerings. You can find dishes like Falafel, Hummus, and Shawarma that are popular across the region. Be sure to try Jordan's take on these classics, as they often have their unique twist and flavours.
  • Bedouin specialities: The Bedouin people, who have inhabited the desert regions of Jordan for centuries, have their own distinctive cuisine. Traditional dishes like Zarb, where meat and vegetables are slow-cooked underground, and Mansaf Al-Rakbeh, a variation of Mansaf made with camel meat, provide a unique taste of Bedouin culture.

Unforgettable tastes of Jordan

  • Jordanian street food: As you explore the bustling streets of Jordan's cities, don't miss out on the street food scene. Whether it's the popular falafel sandwich, the crispy and flavorful Fatayer, or the sweet and sticky Knafeh, street food in Jordan is an explosion of flavours and textures.
  • Fresh and diverse produce: Jordan boasts a wide variety of fresh produce thanks to its diverse agricultural landscape. From tomatoes and cucumbers to olives and citrus fruits, you'll find an abundance of vibrant flavours in each dish.
  • Influences from neighbouring countries: Jordan's culinary scene has been influenced by its neighbouring countries, including Syria, Palestine, and Lebanon. This brings a rich and diverse range of flavours to the table, with dishes like Maqluba (a layered dish of rice, meat, and vegetables) and Musakhan (a traditional Palestinian chicken dish with sumac and onions) featuring prominently.

Now that you have a taste of what Jordan has to offer, make sure to add local cuisine to your travel itinerary. Whether you're a foodie or just looking to explore new flavours, Jordan's culinary scene will leave you with unforgettable tastes and memories.



History and cultural significance of Mansaf

Mansaf, a dish made with tender lamb cooked in yoghurt sauce and served with rice, holds a special place in Jordanian culture. It is considered the national dish of Jordan and is often served during special occasions and gatherings. Mansaf is not just a meal; it is a symbol of hospitality and generosity. It reflects the Bedouin tradition of sharing food with others and is a way to bring people together.

Ingredients and preparation of Mansaf

The key ingredient in Mansaf is lamb, traditionally using the meat of a young lamb, known as jameed. Jameed is a dried yoghurt made from ewe's milk and gives Mansaf its distinct tangy flavour. The lamb is slow-cooked in a mixture of jameed, water, and spices until it becomes tender and flavorful. The dish is then served on a bed of rice, topped with roasted almonds or pine nuts, and garnished with parsley or mint.

To prepare Mansaf, start by soaking the jameed in water until it softens. Then, blend it with water to make a creamy sauce. In a large pot, brown the lamb pieces and add the jameed sauce along with spices like cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves. Let it simmer on low heat for several hours until the meat is tender.

Once the lamb is cooked, it is time to assemble the dish. Place a layer of cooked rice on a large serving platter, arrange the lamb pieces on top, and pour the jameed sauce over it. Garnish with roasted almonds or pine nuts and fresh herbs. Mansaf is traditionally eaten with the right hand, using thin flatbread called shrak to scoop up the rice and meat.

Mansaf is not just a sumptuous meal; it is a cultural experience that immerses you in the rich traditions of Jordan. Its flavours and aromas reflect the history and diversity of the country, making it a must-try dish for anyone visiting Jordan. So, don't miss the opportunity to savour the iconic Mansaf and create unforgettable memories of your culinary journey through Jordan.



Origins and popularity of Falafel

Falafel is a beloved Middle Eastern dish that has gained popularity worldwide for its delicious flavours and vegetarian-friendly ingredients. While its exact origins are debated, it is widely recognized as a staple in Levantine cuisine, particularly in countries like Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, and Palestine. Today, you can find falafel in street food stalls, restaurants, and even fast-food chains across the globe.

Traditional ingredients and cooking process

Falafel is traditionally made from chickpeas or fava beans combined with a mixture of herbs, spices, and onions. The ingredients are ground together into a coarse paste and then shaped into small balls or patties. These are then deep-fried until they turn golden brown, creating a crispy exterior while maintaining a moist and flavorful interior.

The key to achieving the perfect texture and taste lies in the combination of ingredients. Chickpeas provide a nutty flavour and a tender texture, while spices like cumin, coriander, and garlic add a distinctive taste. Fresh herbs such as parsley and cilantro bring a burst of freshness to the falafel.

To prepare falafel, the chickpeas or fava beans need to be soaked overnight to soften. The next day, they are drained and combined with the rest of the ingredients in a food processor, creating a thick paste. The mixture is shaped into small balls or discs and then deep-fried until crispy.

Once cooked, falafel can be enjoyed in various ways. It is commonly served in pita bread or flatbread, along with a selection of fresh vegetables like lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and pickles. Tahini sauce or yoghurt-based sauces, like tzatziki or tahini, are often drizzled on top for extra flavour.

Falafel is not only a delicious and satisfying dish, but it also offers a nutritious option for those seeking vegetarian or plant-based meals. It's versatility and flavorful taste make it a favourite among both locals and tourists alike. So, if you're looking to experience the vibrant flavours of Middle Eastern cuisine, don't forget to try the delectable falafel during your culinary adventures.



History and Variations of Baklava

Baklava is a delightful dessert that has origins in the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern regions. While its exact history is debated, it is believed to have been created in the Ottoman Empire and has since become a beloved sweet treat in countries like Turkey, Greece, Lebanon, and Iran. Over the years, different variations of baklava have emerged, incorporating local ingredients and techniques and making it a unique and diverse dessert.

Layers, flavours, and sweet delights

Baklava is famous for its flaky layers of phyllo pastry, which encase a rich filling of chopped nuts. The most commonly used nuts include walnuts, pistachios, and almonds, but variations may also feature hazelnuts or cashews. These nuts add a crunchy texture and a delightful nutty flavour to the dessert.

To make Baklava, the phyllo pastry sheets are layered with a mixture of nuts, sugar, and spices like cinnamon and cloves. Each layer is brushed with melted butter or oil to ensure a crispy and golden crust. Once baked, the Baklava is drizzled with a sweet syrup made from honey or sugar, which seeps into the layers, adding moisture and sweetness.

The combination of crispy phyllo pastry, nutty filling, and sweet syrup creates a harmonious blend of textures and flavours in every bite. The contrast between the crunchy layers and the soft, chewy nuts makes Baklava a true delight for the taste buds.

Baklava is often served as a dessert during special occasions and celebrations. It can be enjoyed on its own or paired with a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream for an extra indulgence. Additionally, Baklava can be found in various shapes and sizes, such as triangles, rectangles, or bite-sized pieces, making it a customizable dessert suitable for any occasion.

Whether you're a fan of rich desserts or simply want to experience the taste of the Mediterranean, Baklava is a treat worth trying. Its layered pastry and nutty filling offer a unique and satisfying experience. So, next time you have a sweet tooth, indulge in a piece of Baklava and savour the sweet delights it has to offer.



Shawarma's Middle Eastern roots

Shawarma is a mouthwatering Middle Eastern dish that has gained popularity worldwide. With origins tracing back to the Levant region, specifically countries like Lebanon, Turkey, and Syria, Shawarma has become a beloved street food and a go-to option for food enthusiasts seeking a flavorful and satisfying meal.

The traditional preparation of Shawarma involves marinating meat, typically beef, lamb, or chicken, in a mixture of aromatic spices, herbs, and yoghurt. The marinated meat is then slowly roasted on a vertical spit, allowing the flavours to infuse and creating tender, juicy, and flavorful meat.

Shawarma is typically served in a wrap or pita bread, and it is often complimented with a variety of delicious toppings and sauces. Some common accompaniments include fresh vegetables, such as lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers, as well as tangy and creamy sauces like tahini or garlic yoghurt.

Marination techniques and serving styles

The marination process is a crucial step in preparing delicious Shawarma. Various spices and herbs are used, such as cumin, coriander, paprika, garlic, and lemon juice, to create a flavorful marinade that infuses the meat with aromatic goodness. The marinated meat is then left to rest for several hours or overnight, allowing the flavours to penetrate and tenderize the meat.

When it comes to serving Shawarma, there are different styles to choose from. The most common method is to thinly slice the roasted meat from the vertical spit and serve it in a warm wrap or pita bread. The thin slices of tender meat are layered with fresh vegetables and sauces, creating a burst of flavours and textures in each bite.

Shawarma can also be enjoyed as a plate or a platter, where the sliced meat is served alongside rice or fries and accompanied by a selection of salads and condiments. This allows for a more customizable dining experience, as diners can mix and match the accompaniments to their liking.

With its tantalizing flavours and versatile serving options, Shawarma has become a global favourite. Whether you're seeking a quick and satisfying street food experience or a sit-down meal with friends and family, Shawarma is sure to delight your taste buds and leave you craving more.


Mint Tea

Traditional Jordanian tea culture

Jordanian tea culture is deeply rooted in the country's rich history and traditions. Mint tea, also known as "shai b'naana," holds a special place in Jordanian culture and is commonly served as a gesture of hospitality. This refreshing and aromatic beverage is a staple in social gatherings, where friends and family come together to enjoy each other's company over a steaming cup of mint tea.

Brewing process and health benefits

The brewing process of mint tea is simple yet meticulous. Fresh mint leaves, preferably spearmint, are steeped in boiling water, resulting in a vibrant green infusion that releases the soothing essence of mint. The longer the leaves are steeped, the more intense the flavour becomes. Sugar can be added to taste, although traditionally, it is served with a moderate level of sweetness.

Beyond its delightful flavour, mint tea offers numerous health benefits. It is known to aid in digestion, making it an excellent after-dinner beverage. Mint is also believed to have calming properties, making it a popular choice to relax and unwind. Additionally, mint tea is rich in antioxidants, which can help boost the immune system and promote overall well-being.

Furthermore, mint tea is often viewed as a natural remedy for various ailments. It is commonly used to relieve headaches, alleviate symptoms of cold and flu, and soothe stomach discomfort. The combination of mint's invigorating aroma and its potential health benefits makes mint tea a go-to beverage for many individuals seeking a refreshing and soothing drink.

Mint tea holds a prominent place in Jordanian culture and is cherished for its refreshing taste and potential health benefits. Whether enjoyed in social settings or as a solo indulgence, mint tea offers a delightful sensory experience that is both invigorating and calming. So, the next time you find yourself in Jordan, don't forget to savour a cup of mint tea and immerse yourself in the warmth of Jordanian hospitality.