Levantine Food: Delicious Flavors You Can’t Resist

Levantine cooking is a treasure trove full of culinary delights. The cuisine has developed over centuries and is rich in flavours, ingredients, traditions, etc. The Levant is a region of the Eastern Mediterranean that includes Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Palestine. This Region has a vibrant culinary heritage. This article explores the fascinating world of Levantine cooking, its key components, cooking techniques, and the delectable meals that make it a vital part of the international food scene.

Ingredients for Levantine Cuisine

Levantine dishes are characterized by their use of various fresh, nutritious ingredients. Levantine dishes are made with the following ingredients:

  1. Olive Oil: Olive trees are plentiful in the Levant. The precious fruit of these trees is a vital ingredient. Olive oil may be used in cooking or as a finishing ingredient to enhance the flavour of various dishes.
  2. Fresh Fruits: The fertile Region produces various fruits and vegetables, including cucumbers, tomatoes, and eggplants. Pomegranates, figs, and citrus fruit are also used widely, adding a sweet taste to many dishes.
  3. Spices: This is essential for adding freshness. Mint, parsley, cilantro and other herbs are great. Cumin, sumac, and coriander can be used to flavour food and give it a pleasant aroma.
  4. Wheat: It is a staple grain. It’s used in many dishes, including kabsa, a spiced rice dish. A special variety of “baldo,” or spiced-rice dish kabsa, is made with a rice known as “baldo”.
  5. Legumes: Chickpeas, lentils, and favas beans are essential ingredients for Levantine Cuisine. They are used to create dishes like falafel, hummus, or foul medames.
  6. Dairy Products: Labneh is a strained yoghurt that plays a major role in Levantine Cuisine. It can be found in both savoury and sweet dishes.

Levantine Cuisine: How to Cook?

Levantine Cuisine offers a variety of cooking methods which infuse the food with distinctive textures and flavours.

  • Barbecue: Grilled meats, vegetables and fish are ubiquitous in Lebanon. The open flame adds a layer of flavour and smokiness to the dishes. Shawarma kebabs and grilled aubergines are a couple of examples.
  • Stewing: Slowly cooking stews or braised dishes allows flavours to meld. One classic is “magloubeh”, a one-pot dish made from rice, vegetables, and meat. It’s typically served upside down to showcase the layers.
  • Roasting: Whole roasted, aromatically spiced meats are a real treat to the taste buds. These dishes come in a variety of flavours and sauces.
  • Deep-frying: The Levant Region is famous for its deep-fried delights, including falafels. The dishes have a wonderful crispness on the outside and a tasty, warm interior.

Cultural Significance

Levantine Cuisine is food, culture, hospitality, and heritage. Levantine food is often shared amongst family members, strengthening ties and fostering moments of closeness. Levantine culinary influence is felt far beyond borders.

Levantine food has been influenced over the years by trade and exchange. Silk Road connecting East to West, which passed through this part of the world, introduced many new ingredients, techniques, and recipes that have helped enrich Levantine cooking.

Conclusion

Levantine Cuisine is a celebration of flavours. It showcases the many ingredients, cooking styles and cultural influences in the Eastern Mediterranean. These dishes are a meal for the body and a feast of the senses. As family and friends gather together to share heart-warming meals, they embody the tradition of togetherness. Explore Levantine Cuisine in the Region or try your hand at Home. The irresistible flavour and history of the culinary treasure will capture you.