You travel the world to see the sites, experience the culture, but most of all… you go to try the food. Travelling to a new place means being able to experience a completely new sense of your palate. Though there are many rare dishes around the world, the Middle East has some of the most delicious, nutritious and out-right-strange dishes out there.
This one’s for the escargot lovers. Though ghoulal’s name may come off a little ghastly, this street food has many costumers eager to have more. The dish consists of land snails, which are boiled in their shells in a tasty, spicy broth flavored with cumin, ginger, tarragon and fennel seeds. The soup has a subtle yet hearty flavor, perfect for autumn and winter evenings. Though many might flee at the thought of snails, there is something satisfying to be said about going out on a limb in a new country, and Ghoulal is the perfect place to start.
This traditional Levant dish is more likely to be found at home than in a restaurant so get ready to be social with the locals because this meal will be on your #1 list to try. The dish consists of small meat dumplings – spiced minced meat encased in pockets of dough, similar to ravioli – which are cooked in thick natural yogurt. This dish is said to be so unique because it gives you both the creamy texture of yogurt mixed with the spiciness of dumplings. Some might even describe the dish as both a dessert and an entree!
While the name Manakeesh may not seem familiar at first, many of us know the dish all too well. Noted as “the pizza of the Arabic world” manakeesh consists of round bread with scattered cheese and ground meat or herbs. Depending on how much of a pizza fan you may be, this meal can be had for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and can be found anywhere “from fancy Levantine restaurants or street vendors”.
Keeping with the spirit of dishes which can easily be had for all three meals a day, it’s time to introduce Shakshouka. The dish is a one-pot skillet masterpiece, prepared with a base of tomatoes, simmered herbs and spices, and topped with softly cooked eggs. This dish is known for being one of the best “comfort foods” in the Middle East and will surely bring you comfort on your journey away from home.
It seems appropriate to end a food article with the best food category of all, dessert. Halvah means “a sweet confection” and it is one of the most widely known dishes to try when visiting the Middle East. The dessert looks much like a cake in size and shape, but inside you’ll find different main components for each such as “grain-based halvah” or “semolina” with its spongy texture. While many Halvah desserts will be left plain (which is wonderful as is) many are flavored with pistachio or chocolate.
Eating new foods in a new place is easy, but getting to those new countries can be hard. From not knowing the laws to trying to figure out how your passport works, travelling can become a serious hassle for people. Cut out some of your stress by researching and planning with CI Azumano who provides travel tips and expert advice to leave you feeling more confident about where you’re travelling so you can enjoy every minute (or every bite) of it!