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The local cuisine of Jordan

If you are not yet familiar with the cuisine of Jordan, you will be pleasantly surprised because the local cuisine in Jordan is outstanding. Food is a massive part of any culture, especially in Jordan, so here are a few dishes you must try if you get the chance.
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Local Cuisine

If there is one way to bond with the locals or even your fellow travelers, it is over some delicious food, and who can no to this? Jordanian food is full of flavor, aromas, and colors. Many dishes have been greatly influenced by North Africa, The Middle East, The Mediterranean, and Persia, so that you will be inundated with food choices here.

Local food always differs from region to region, so it is worth asking your ‘Local Destination Expert in Jordan’ for some regional recommendations, which you can try as you travel around, especially if you happen to do a tour such as Immerge yourself with a local Jordanian

Here is a look into the Jordanian cuisine and the traditional dishes you must try.

Local Cuisine

The local cuisine of Jordan
Jordanian Cuisine: 16 Traditional Food You Can Find in Jordan - Girl | www.girleatworld.net

Jordanian food is so appealing to many, and there will be dishes that will become your ‘go-to dishes’ while traveling around the country. There are many techniques used in Jordanian cooking, such as grilling, baking, sauteing, roasting, and of course, you will come across many vegetables stuffed with other ingredients. You might not have known it before, but Italy and Greece have a rival in olive oil production, with Jordan being one of the largest producers of olives in the world. 

You can expect to find many meals that have been prepared with fresh olive oil, and the most common flavors and aromas you will come across in most meals include garlic, lemon, onion, tomato sauce, and local mixed spices, all of which make Jordanian food so delicious.

Now that you have an idea of what the local cuisine of Jordan is all about let us show you some of the main dishes that you cannot overlook when traveling to this fabulous culinary destination.

Best dishes to try:

Here are some of the best dishes to try in Jordan:

Moutabel:

Moutabel
Source: https://www.bautrip.com/travel-guide/petra/food/moutabel-jordan | Pic by Alexander Mychko

Jordan is known for its yummy dips and side dishes, and this is one that you will find everywhere and most likely fall in love with. It consists of smokey aubergine/eggplant paired with freshly baked, warm pitta and is eaten as either a starter, as part of a mezze (a large spread of appetizers), or as a meal snack.

Falafel:

Falafel

This will be familiar to you, considering it is a beloved food worldwide, consisting of chickpeas mixed with a range of mixed spices and deep-fried until golden and crispy. Jordan is said to have some of the best falafel in the Middle East, but don’t tell its neighbors that! Instead, see for yourself at the many street vendors you will come across.

Hummus:

Hummus

Again, just like the falafel, is well-known worldwide, but Jordan is also said to have some of the best hummus globally, and we think this is due to its incredible olive oil. You might think it all tastes the same, considering the ingredients are the same, but hummus differs slightly from place to place, so it is your mission to find the best version on your travels.

Fattest Hummus:

Fattest Hummus

This version of hummus is slightly different from the original, consisting of broth-soaked bread, tahini, hummus, and lemon juice, which make the texture fluffy rather than thick like the original. This is a Jordanian dish that you must try as part of a mezze, snack, or side dish.

Galayet Bandora:

Galayet Banadoura
Source: https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/galayet-banadoura | Photo By Jenny Zarins

Also known simply as ‘Galayet,’ this Jordanian tomato-based appetizer is made using stewed tomatoes, hot peppers, onions, olive oil, and salt, served with warm pita.

Labneh:

Labneh
Source: https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/spiced-labneh-51223630 Photo by Charles Masters

With a texture like yogurt and a taste like sour cream, you might not know what to do with Labneh, but it is generally used to dip vegetables into or as a spread on freshly baked bread. It is a typical breakfast food, but although it is strained yogurt topped with herbs and olive oil, it has a sour taste, so don’t think of adding fruit and muesli. Instead, opt for bread or pita, which go perfectly together.

Tabouleh:

Tabouleh
Source: https://blog.suvie.com/my-cook-tabouleh-salad/

Tabouleh is one of the most famous Levantine dishes and can be found worldwide, but when you are in Jordan, you have to try the local version. The smell of this dish alone is delicious, but the taste is just as good, with a mix of parsley, garlic, bulgur wheat, garlic, lemon juice, and of course, the best Jordanian olive oil.

Ful Medames:

Ful Medames
Source: https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/ful-medames-352993

This fava bean stew is known simply as Ful and is served with olive oil, cumin, chopped parsley, garlic, onion, lemon juice, chilis, and a range of local spices, to give it that hearty consistency, full of flavor.

Manakish or Arabic Pizza:

Manakish Or Arabic Pizza

Yes, this is precisely what it sounds like – pizza, except this version, is made up of dough, topped with thyme, ground meat, or cheese, which can be eaten by the slice or by folding. Remember to always eat food with your right hand in Jordan.

Arabic Salad:

Arabic Salad

This typical salad can be found everywhere, and although it is similar to tabouleh, it has some different ingredients and is a great way to balance your meals in Jordan, especially when paired with grilled meats and stews. It is made using cucumber, tomato, lemon juice, olive oil, and bell peppers, making it a refreshing side dish or starter.

Shawarma:

Shawarma

With an entire ‘Shawarma Street’ dedicated to the dish in the capital city of Amman, you know that this is a local favorite in Jordan, and tourists love it too, of course. It is a familiar dish to most and can be spit-roasted lamb, beef, or chicken, paired with pickled vegetables, garlic, or tahini sauce, and wrapped up in some fresh pita.

Shish Kebabs:

Shish Kebabs

You might be familiar with shish kebabs, seen as they can be found in many parts of the Middle East and other parts of the world, but when in Jordan, you must try this version. Made from minced lamb mixed with parsley and lots of salt, it is then rolled into long skewers and then grilled over ultra-hot charcoals, which give it a delicious smokey flavor. This dish can be found everywhere in Jordan.

Mansaf:

Mansaf
Source: https://theculturetrip.com/middle-east/jordan/articles/a-brief-history-of-mansaf-jordans-national-dish/ © Ji-Elle / Wikimedia Commons

This prevalent dish is eaten all over Jordan and the whole Levant region, so you will have no struggle in finding it. It is made of lamb cooked in fermented, dried yogurt and served with rice or bulgur wheat, making it a hearty meal loved by many. This is the national dish of Jordan, so it is your moral imperative to give it a try during your Jordanian adventures. 

You should check out Delicious Jordan for an incredible culinary adventure in Jordan, guaranteed to tickle your tastebuds.

Drinks:

Limonana:

Limonana

This is the national drink of Jordan and hosts the refreshing flavors of lemons, spearmint, sugar, and lots of ice. With can be a great beverage on a hot day.

Watermelon Juice:

Watermelon Juice

Watermelons can be found around Jordan. If you find one, you need to try one, especially a glass of fresh watermelon juice, because Jordan has some of the tastiest watermelons around. If you thought you knew what good watermelons tasted like, you would be shocked when you tried local watermelons in Jordan.

Arak:

Arak
Source: https://rove.me/to/jordan/arak?photo=0 © renata miyagusku

Arak is the local liquor of Jordan, and yes, alcohol is legal here, so you can try their aniseed liquor whenever you want – except on Ramadan, of course. Like absinthe, this strong liquor with a sweet aroma has to be mixed with two parts water and just one part Arak, and it is customary to drink it slow and easy, so don’t think about taking shots of Arak in Jordan. You might regret it the next day.

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