If you’re ever on a trip to the Middle East, Jordan is a definite must visit. Whether you spend time in Amman, Petra, or anywhere else, something you’ll be able to enjoy all around the country is the delicious Levantine food. While there is a long list of dishes you must try, here are some of the foods that you cannot leave Jordan without trying at least once…or five times.
This is the “national dish of Jordan,” which consists of rice that’s topped with pieces of lamb and a gravy made with jameed, which is a salty dry yogurt. You can enjoy Mansaf with thin bread and there’s no need to bother with cutlery.
Another incredible hearty rice dish is made by cooking meat on the bottom of a pan that’s then covered in rice. Then, once the cooking is finished, the whole pot is flipped over so that the rice is on the bottom and the caramelized meat is on top. The name of the dish, maqluba, actually means “upside down,” which makes perfect sense.
Zarb is a traditional dinner dish of the Bedouin people, who are nomadic tribes living in the desert areas of the country. A pit is created in the ground and then filled with hot coats in which layers of meat, vegetables, and rice are cooked so that the fat and juice of the meat drips down to the rice and vegetables, giving it an unforgettable flavor.
Labane is a delightfully tart spreadable cheese that’s often served as part of mezze. It’s made of strained yogurt and is also often served at breakfast. It is often topped with olive oil and za’atar spice blend, and can be enjoyed with pita bread or manakeesh.
Of course, we can’t forget about dessert. Kanafe is made of baked cheese that’s wrapped with thin and crispy strings of philo that’s been fried. Everything is cooked in a flat pan, and once it’s ready, it is topped with simple syrup and often rosewater and chopped pistachios. It is quite different from many Western desserts but it is absolutely delicious.