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Lebanon’s illustrious cuisine is one of the country’s foremost attractions. The most popular mezze dishes include hommos (purée of chick peas and sesame paste), moutabal (eggplant and sesame paste dip) and tabboule (parsley, tomato and crushed wheat salad). These three dishes form the nucleus of the Lebanese mezze tradition, but only constitute a small part of the rich and varied spread that can include anywhere from 10 to 100 small plates of local delicacies.

Other notable mezze dishes include warak arish (stuffed grape leaves), labne (strained yogurt seasoned with olive oil and garlic), fattoush (green salad with tomatoes and bread), samboussek (fried cheese or meat pastries), kebbi (finely ground meat with crushed wheat), and many more.
The centerpiece of the mezze is a colorful bouquet of whole lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes and local greens. Arabic (or pita) bread, which is essential to the mezze, is served in abundance. The most wonderful thing about mezze dishes is that they’re as healthy as they are tasty. Most dishes are made with olive oil and many are vegetarian. In fact, almost every ingredient in the mezze dishes is good for the heart (and the soul!): burghol (crushed wheat), chick peas, fava beans and vitamin-rich tabboule.
After the mezze, diners move on to grilled meats (lamb, kababs, chicken brochettes and kafta, which is ground meat with parsley) and grilled seafood. More sophisticated dishes offering a mosaic of flavours include kebbi labnieh (meat balls in a warm yogurt sauce), moujaddara (lentil purée cooked with rice and onions), and sayyadieh (fish and rice topped with onion sauce) to name a few.
Lebanese meals are traditionally accompanied by arak, the national drink of distilled grape juice flavoured with anis. Superlative local wines, including reds,whites and rosés, are also plentiful.
Narguili, the tobacco water pipe flavored with fruit, honey or molasses, provides the crowning touch to any Lebanese meal. Also try Lebanon's very own white coffee (a caffeine-free infusion of orange-flower water) or cup of aromatic Turkish coffee.
A Lebanese meal can also be a speedy affair, particularly when you're in a rush. Try the mankouche, Lebanon's famed thyme and olive oil pizza, or the lahme bi ajine, a spiced ground meat and tomato pizza. Other Lebanese fast food options include the beloved falafel (fried purée of breaded beans) and shawarma (thin slices of marinated meat garnished with fresh vegetables, pickles and tahini).

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