There is no greater symbol of Lebanese culture than the mighty mezze, as not only does it involve eating lots of healthy and delicious food (usually in the form of a smorgasbord-like spread), but it is all about enjoying quality time with family, friends and loved ones. While the word itself is derived from the Persian term “maze” – meaning ‘to snack’ – don’t let the name fool you, because an authentic mezze is certainly no appetizer. While there are no strict rules regarding what a mezze should comprise, to be considered an authentic Lebanese version the following elements are a must.
You simply can’t have a traditional mezze without fresh baked bread as it provides the perfect vessel with which to enjoy all of those delicious dips and tasty morsels. While pita is the most popular bread commonly included on a mezze table you may also find a plate or two of paper-thin bread known as marqouq.
If you like cheese you will absolutely love haloumi and any self-respecting mezze will always feature a plate or two of this heavenly hard white cheese. Although not strictly Lebanese in origin, Haloumi has now become a Lebanese staple. Made from a combination of sheep and goat’s milk, haloumi is perfect for grilling and its wonderfully salty flavour will keep you coming back for more.
This classic Lebanese dish has been part of our cultural cuisine for thousands of years and is an essential element of any mezze. Featuring bulgur wheat, tomatoes, parsley, mint, cucumber, olive oil and lemon juice, tabbouleh is healthy, delicious and provides a touch of freshness perfect for those hot summer days.
No mezze table can be considered authentic without falafel. Apart from providing a great source of protein, vitamins, minerals and a taste that is impossible to match, falafel balls provide the perfect way to enjoy all those delicious dips, making them so easy to devour and enjoy.
A traditional mezze needs to have plenty of tasty dips and none are more important than hommus. This classic mezze mainstay is made from a blend of chick peas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic and a healthy drizzle of olive oil, and it is as full of flavour as it is good for you.
This mouth-watering eggplant delicacy is always one of the most popular elements of any authentic Lebanese mezze. Baba ghanouj has a unique flavour and personality that goes perfectly with fresh bread, falafel or even a slice of grilled haloumi.
Lebanese people are rather fond of their olives and so you can expect to see both the green and black varieties on any mezze table. When enjoying mezze in Lebanon it is common to be treated to a selection of fresh olives that have been grown by your host, or at least by a friend, neighbour or cousin.
No one knows how to enjoy a quality meal quite like the Lebanese as every dish is viewed as a reason to celebrate. If you’d like to enjoy an authentic mezze with your friends or family drop by Manoosh or order from us online. We have the best mezze in the inner-west and are experts in the art of modern and traditional Lebanese food