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Middle Eastern Mezze for Supper

Mezze for Supper in Amman

So this was supper last night. I picked up the elements at shops on the way back to the hotel on my walk from Ashrafiyeh to Jebel Amman. In total it all pcost probably around 3 or 4 dollars – and could have easily fed 2 people. I ate the leftovers for breakfast this AM. These would traditionally be mezze or starters/appetizers at a sit-down place. Or indeed the main course in many places around the ballad.

Starting with the white stuff on the upper left and going clockwise:

Labaneh – this is a strained yoghurt typically made from goats milk. Sort of like sour cream, sort of like cream cheese. If you’ve had greek yoghurt it is very similar. Used in cooking or as a dip for bread. Typically served with Olive oil and spices on top. When I was in Palestine they served it with hot peppers on top. I wish I would have thought to find some!

2 Liters of Water – Self-explanatory. Just want to note that it is really pretty easy to get dehydrated walking around Amman all day.

1 Liter box of OJ – A little vitamin C in a box to fight off the scurvy!

A Huge Flat Bread – You can see the pics of the guy making this stuff over near the ballad in my previous post. This is not the typical khubez. It is thinner, bigger, and somewhat chewy. I’ll have to find out what they call this – it’s really good.

Hummus – A blend of chick peas, tahini (sesame paste), and spices. Very tasty. If you haven’t have Palestinian style hummus stop by Pita Paradise in Carol Stream (for you Chicagolanders). Otherwise, come visit us in Jordan this fall. Here in Jordan they like to put a sauce on top of the hummus that consists of hot peppers, garlic and lemon juice – it is soooo good.

Kiwi – the fruit, not the people. I stopped in on a class the other day and that was the question being debated – when you hear the word “kiwi” do you think first of the fruit or the person. My friend said the fruit, I said the person. Half the class cheered for her, the other half cheered for me.

Halawa – This is the round of tan stuff with pistachios in it, behind the kiwi. The word needs “sweetness” and is related to the arabic word helwa which can mean “good” or “beautiful.” Just like labaneh it has many variations around the entire Meditrerranean. Here it is a mixture of tahini and sugar and some other ingredients I don’t know. It’s mixed with pistachio nuts. The consistency is soft but firm – kind of like, hmm, I can’t think of anything to compare it to right now. It’s ok, but probably not going to be extremely popular with American palates anytime soon.

OK – hope that was interesting to you. Tonight I just went to McDonald’s over in the wealthier part of town. I wanted to be able to reassure Noah that he can get a Happy Meal fix sometime. And so Victoria and I can get a huge Diet Coke with ice if we absolutely feel the need.


2 Responses

  1. Ha-Ha! You might like the hummus – even though the sound of it is a little disgusting – I mean, come on – pureed chick peas? Who thought of that?!? But, especially with the hot pepper sauce on top it is quite good.

  2. It’s a good thing you have a tolerant palate! I’d probably be eating a lot of that bread!

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