Welcome to the taste of Traditional
Lebanon . . .
The land of the Phoenicians . . .
A mosaic of peoples, cultures, traditions and customs, religions and costumes . . .
Today’s Lebanon is a modern country that still conveys the flavour of the past.
Lebanon is a small country, nestled between Syria on the North and East, and Israel in the South. The West side is a 250 km coastline along the Mediterranean Sea.
A double ridge of mountains runs parallel to the jagged coastline: The Mount Lebanon Mountains to the West, reaching over 3000 meters in altitude, and the Anti-Lebanon Mountains on the East, reaching 2,500 meters. In between, lies the fertile Beqaa Valley.
It is in this narrow coastal region that the Phoenicians flourished several millennia before the Christian era. This is where they got the cedar wood to build their ships and this same wood was taken to Egypt to make coffins for Egyptian pharaos and also used for King Solomon’s temple. It was the Phoenicians who founded what today are Lebanon’s main cities: Beirut the capital, Tripoli in the North, and Sidon and Tyre in the South.
Many civilizations followed the Phoenicians, mainly Egyptians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Crusaders, Turks, Ottomans and French, until Lebanon got its independence in 1943.
Land of history, Lebanon went through a period of great economic and cultural prosperity between the 1950s and 1970s. Unfortunately, the terrible war broke out in 1975 and lasted until the early 1990s. Today, with a relatively permanent peace and a desire for normality shared by the entire population, the country is enjoying a rebirth. It has gone into the third millennium with that enchanting and joyful image that a few decades ago had earned it the nickname of the “Switzerland of the Middle East.” With Arabic, French and English spoken and a mixture of Christians, Moslems and Druze, tourists from all over the world feel at home in Lebanon. They visit the country for its snowy mountains and its warm beaches, for its modern souks and malls where one finds all kinds of international goods, but mainly for its warm, hospitable people and its varied and delicious cuisine.
In Lebanon, the lady of the house is the main cook and queen of her home. Her throne is in the kitchen. To her, preparing food for her family and friends is a labour of love. Mealtime is a leisurely and a happy occasion where family and friends are brought together and are at their closest. Daughters learn cooking from observing their mothers.
The time has come, however, when “a pinch of this” or “a little of that” and the “come-and-watch me” technique is no longer feasible for the busy, modern family or for the conscientious cook with limited time to spend in the kitchen.
With this in mind, Priscilla at Simply Delicious offers the art of Lebanese cuisine, from her kitchen to your dining room, through her varied menu of delectable dishes for all occasions.
Lebanese cooking is one of the great cuisines of the Middle East and encompasses a wide array of dishes and cooking styles.
A traditional Lebanese meal starts with “mezza” which is a selection of hot and cold starters. These can be simple or elaborate. Some are so filling that you could easily forego a main course altogether. There are enough meatless dishes to satisfy vegetarians as well.
Main courses are usually chicken, lamb or fish served with Lebanese flat bread.
The national dish is “Kibbe”, which is made with finely minced lamb and burghul wheat. This is sometimes served raw “Kibbe Nayyeh” or more often stuffed with meat and pine nuts and fried “Kibbe Mi’liyeh” or baked like a pie “Kibbe Bil Saniyeh”.
The typical saying by Lebanese people at mealtime is “Sahtayn” which literally means “two healths to you”.
Feel free to phone and order your Lebanese meal or delicious sweets from Simply Delicious.
Hoping you enjoy your meal and come back for more.
“If you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man’s hunger.” Kahlil Gibran