Welcome to a whole other exotic world: the cuisine of Lebanon, the land of milk and honey. My mother will tell you that Lebanese cooking is one of the world's great cuisines, not to mention one of the most healthful. However, to be objective, I prefer to let you decide for yourself. Try mezze, kibbeh, the REAL tabbouleh… all washed down with a few little glasses of Syrope between friends. They may be followed by some wonderful sweet desserts, often perfumed with rose water.
Lebanon is indeed the land of milk and honey. Even in the furthest reaches of antiquity the land of Canaan, of which present-day Lebanon is part, was renowned for its gastronomy, the refinement of its dishes and its fine ingredients. The Canaanites, who had been settled in this mountainous, maritime country since the dawn of recorded time, developed a subtle, refined cuisine based on seafood, fruits and vegetables. Having domesticated wheat, grape vines and olives over 6,000 years ago, the Canaanites were the first to ferment grape juice and to flavour their dishes with olive oil, while also incorporating herbs and flowers into their cuisine.
The Lebanese are one of the rare peoples of the world to still eat a dish that their ancestors enjoyed some 4,000 years ago: kid cooked in its mother's milk.
But like any cuisine, it has been lightened and enriched with new flavours over the passing centuries. Time has refined the hearty simple dishes of the mountain dwellers, isolated for centuries on the heights of Mount Lebanon, whose staple diet was the vegetables they would dry during the summer months, and preserved meat from the rare sheep and goats that grazed on its sparsely-covered slopes.
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