Lebanon, the land of the Phoenicians, is the gateway to the Middle East with its famed Cedars and distinctive culture. This country has offered the world not only many great products and customs, but also the origin of the Phonetic Alphabet. Its people can vary greatly in their way of life. Traces of old-fashioned methods and practices are still found in the many villages situated within this country while the cities display progressive urbanization – high rises, exquisite restaurants and formal education institutions like the American University of Beirut.
Though differences do exist in terms of lifestyles, the Lebanese culture is always distinctive. There may be a slight variation in menu and recipes from town to town, but the basic dishes such as hommous, baba ghanouge, tabooli, and kabobs remain the same and can be found in any city restaurant. Also, all regions of Lebanon exhibit the unmistakable Lebanese trait of hospitality.
The natural and nutritious food of Lebanon is made from the country’s own produce. Grains, vegetables, nuts and luscious fruits grow for all to enjoy. Olive groves offer not only the olives that are kept on the table for nibbling, but also the olive oil, which is used in all salads and appetizers. Grapes grow in abundance, and the vineyards are essential for making wine and Arak, a Lebanese liquor.
The Lebanese home is stocked with yogurt, cheese, olives, nuts and grains, and the Lebanese cook may spend many hours in the kitchen preparing a selection of dishes. Often she adjusts her cooking to meet the individual tastes of each family member.
The food of Lebanon is a celebration of life; it is fresh, flavorful, diverse, and invigorating. The genius of it is in its complex simplicity, and that the food is a product of both the earth and the sea. There is a natural bond that all of the Mediterranean cuisines share, from the tip of Spain to the Levant as the same waters equally kiss the countries of the Mediterranean, waters that the Phoenicians of old sailed and spread Lebanese culture and cuisine and left their permanent mark through their colonies. The legendary journeys of the Phoenicians not only spread the best of Lebanon across the seas but also brought back home the best of the cultures they encountered. Despite similarities of Mediterranean foods, the cuisine of Lebanon is without a doubt in a class of its own.
We invite you to dine with us to experience our exquisite Lebanese selections and partake in our Lebanese hospitality.
Ahlan Wa Sahlan. You are welcome at Osta’s Lebanese Cuisine.