About Lebanese Traditions

Samara Cuisine is dedicated to sharing the culinary delights of Lebanon.

The Lebanese have always expressed their various identities through the intertwining of religion, food, music and dance.

Lebanese culture and traditions are honoured at haflis (parties), mahrajans (feasts), and by musicians playing the traditional five-stringed instrument, the Oud.

Religious events — whether big Islamic feasts, like Eid Al Adha or Christian festivals such as Easter Sunday or the feast day of Saint Maroun — each have their own special food to celebrate the day.

Lebanese and Moroccan Cuisine

A ubiquitous item on Lebanese menus is the famous mezze, a fabulous spread of all kinds of Lebanese specialities. These dishes, offered mostly cold or at room temperature, are delightful on a warm summer’s day or a taste of summer in the middle of winter.

There’s tabbouleh, made with cracked wheat (bulgur), mint, fresh herbs, onions, tomatoes, lemon juice and olive oil – see our recipe page for details.

Also hummus, a chickpea puree mixed with tahini, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil.

And baba ghanouj, an eggplant puree with its smoky taste, mixed with tahini, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil. Tahini is a delicious sesame seed paste, and baba ghanouj is a firm favourite in restaurants.

There are vegetables stuffed with meat, pine nuts, or almonds; stuffed vine leaves; fattoush, a delicious salad made with roasted, crunchy Lebanese pita bread, lettuce, cucumber, green peppers and tomatoes, to which we add our own special dressing.

There are marinated chicken kebabs, kofta and Lebanese pastries filled with spinach.

Another favourite is raw kibbeh, made with extra-fine lean beef or lamb, to which are added cumin, onion, mint and olive oil. This dish needs to be specially ordered.

A mezze is a great way to enjoy all the different tastes of Lebanese and Moroccan Cuisine. The idea of mezze comes from a very Mediterranean tradition of sharing food and conversation with others.

Desserts are delicious too. Baklava is a tiny diamond-shaped morsel of pastry made with honey and ground walnuts. There are also butter biscuits (ma’amool), made with pistachios, pine nuts, walnuts, dates or almonds.

The Lebanese like to drink mint tea and home-made lemonade and cardamom flavoured Arabic coffee.

Arak, an alcoholic drink made with grapes flavoured with anise, is strong and milky.

Lebanon also produces the best wine in the Arabic region. Try Chateau Musar or Wardi.

And if you would like to experience another timeless pleasure of Lebanese life, try the Shisha – Hubbly Bubbly – a water pipe full of aromatic fruit-spiced smoke.

Please visit our blog to learn more about Lebanese recipes, traditions and culture at Never Mind the Hummus – From Beirut to London in 100 Dishes.