Gastronomy of Jordan

A social experience and an explosion of exotic flavors

Although kebab shops seem to invade every corner of the city, they produce a wrong image: Jordan’s gastronomy It is not only that, but a much more surprising and sophisticated variety of local dishes full of originality and flavor. And what is more important: it is a social experience, ideal to know a little better the tastes of this town so anchored in traditions.

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The two great traditions in Jordanian gastronomy

In fact, the gastronomy of Jordan is marked by the influence of different cuisines, thanks above all to its strategic position in the caravan routes of yesteryear: merchants and products from countries such as Egypt, India, Turkey and Lebanon ran through here, to name some of the most remarkable and influential.

But the Jordanians have not limited themselves to copying and replicating the dishes of their neighbors, but have known how to pass them through their own filter to reach original and differential elaborations. In any case, the most ‘traveled’ diners who want to try Jordanian elaborations, will be able to frame most recipes in two great traditions: Arabic and Bedouin.

  • Arab cuisine of Jordan: on a day-to-day basis, there is no shortage of dishes and products that can also be found in other Arab countries. This is the case of ful medames, a stew based on beans. The bread is considered almost sacred, the main one being the unleavened bread or khobz. Some common ingredients in the Jordanian cuisineA and that can be considered heritage of the Arab world are olives, hard-boiled eggs or cheese, as in neighboring countries. But above all, your palate will feel ecstatic with the mixtures of spices that enhance the flavor and always give a touch of exoticism. Some customs at the table are also inherited from the Arab world, such as using only the right hand (the left is considered impure) or washing hands in full view of everyone (if possible).
  • Bedouin cuisine: it is a cuisine of taking advantage of food more at hand, which once were not so varied. In fact, even the liquid fat extracted from cooking meat is used. Camel milk, dried dates or pine nuts are some of the products quite present in their dishes. In addition, in the desert it is still cooked in earth ovens, which consist of holes filled with wood coals, on which foods such as lamb are cooked.
Gastronomy of Jordan

List of iconic dishes and products of Jordanian cuisine

This is a list of typical dishes and products of Jordanian cuisine. Some of them are only available at certain times of the year, since the local cuisine is very seasonal:

  • Makloubeh
    : based on chicken, vegetables, rice and spices

  • Mensaf
    : with lamb, rice, pine nuts and yogurt sauce

  • Fasoliyeh
    : braised beans with tomato and rice

  • Bazelleh
    : Scammed peas with rice

  • Baba Ganoush
    : eggplant humus

  • Zarb
    : Bedouin barbecue that takes place in the desert on whose coals you can deposit chicken or lamb meat, but carrot or potato, among other options

  • Waraq Enab
    : grape leaves stuffed with lamb, onion, rice, tomato and parsley, among other ingredients
  • Fast food: there are common specialties in cheap places and at street level. Among the most common dishes are:

    • Shawarma
      : lamb or chicken on flatbread, with onion and tomato

    • Falafe
      l: fried chickpea balls with spices

    • Farooj
      : grilled chicken with pickles and onion

    • Shish tawoop
      : spiced chicken skewers

Typical Jordanian drinks

Being a Muslim-majority country, drinking alcohol is frowned upon by the faithful, although foreign visitors can do so discreetly. In fact, Jordan has a budding wine and brewing sector, largely driven by Christian entrepreneurs.

In any case, Jordan’s main beverages are tea and coffee. Tea or Shai It is the most popular drink, either mint or in the form of spice infusions. Coffee or Qahwa It is usually flavored and can be served in a large or small cup. But the important thing is that both drinks are very social, because around them men usually gather in cafeterias, while throwing a game or smoking a water pipe.

Therefore, the gastronomy of Jordan can well be conceived as another incentive for your trip, especially if you leave the usual restaurant circuits and decide to book in quality restaurants.

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