Syrian food is the dissemination of the food cultures of the various Syrian civilizations. These civilizations were established in Syria in the beginning of the Arab conquest during Islamic era. Turkish cuisine also has a strong influence on Syrian cuisine that is in many ways similar to Palestine, Levantine and Lebanese cuisine.
Hearty flavors and aromatic ingredients are the main characteristics of the food of Syria. This is also said to be the most oldest and traditional cuisine of the world.
Feasts and the festival dishes are also an important part of Syrian cuisine.
Syrian food is distinguished with the varied use of spices and vegetables. In everyday Syrian cooking vegetables plays an important role and help in making some nutritional dishes. The food, served in celebrations and on festivals, typically includes meat dishes.
There is a tradition in Syria to decorate the dining table with several salad dishes and starters. The first course of the meal in Syrian food is known as ‘meze’ that includes mainly all kind of starters such as ‘cheese manakish’, ‘kibble’ and ’hummus’. Main meal is usually served with meat and vegetable curry dishes with various kinds of breads.
Desserts in Syrian cuisine are also famous worldwide. Nuts, cream, honey, dates and cheese are the main stuffings used for Syrian desserts. Syrians are popular for making fine cheese; hence it is extensively used in Syrian foods.
Popular Dishes of Syrian Cuisine
- Kibbeh – This is the national dish and can be made with different kind of stuffing. It can either be fried or cooked in yoghurt.
- Baklava – It is a kind of layered pastry that is served typically as dessert
- Arak – A very famous aniseed flavored alcoholic drink in Syrian cuisine and widely served in feast and celebration meals.
- Makdous – An eggplant dish cooked in olive oil, is a famous vegetable dish.
Popular Features of Syrian Cuisine
Syrian food is a highly famous Middle Eastern cuisine and recognized in global culinary world. Syria is popular for various kinds of kebabs and dips that are also sold as street foods locally as well as in other countries. Hummus, kibbeh, baba ghanoush, and cheese manakesh are the popular food stuffs that are served in almost all Syrian eateries. Some of the popular Syrian restaurants in the region are Al Cantara, Casa Mia and Jabri House.
Though Syrian Chefs are not the celebrity Chefs all over the world, but few of them are famous for making traditional as well as contemporary Syrian dishes.
Health Facts Related to Syrian Foods
Syrian cuisine is said to be a moderately healthy cuisine as it includes ample vegetable dishes along with meat dishes. Cheese is also a healthy ingredient that adds nutrition to the dishes. Usually, the cooking methods used in Syrian cuisine are deep-frying and stir-frying that involves excess use of oil, but with the extensive use of olive oil the health factor in the dishes remains higher.