The Best Middle Eastern Food You Have to Try When Visiting

This one is going to make you hungry! We’re talking all about the best middle eastern food! Isn’t one of the best things about travel, trying all the amazing new foods of that culture? Middle Eastern food does NOT disappoint when it comes to amazing food and cultural traditions that surround food and drink. Eating is an experience in the Middle East that must be experienced!

We had so much good food in Lebanon and because we were staying with and traveling with locals while in Lebanon, we really got to try the best of the best Lebanese food for four days straight.

In this episode we talk about some of the well known and most popular food in Lebanon to some of the locals’ recommendations and new favorites since the trip.

In episode 44 we cover all aspects of Middle Eastern foods:

  • Breakfast in the Middle East
  • Middle Eastern snacks
  • Middle Eastern salads (so god)
  • Meals of the Middle East
  • Middle Eastern drinks
  • Middle Eastern food culture and traditions

Best Middle Eastern Food – Episode Transcript

2 (55s):
Welcome to this weeks episode, international food, of the Travel Squad podcast. I hope you’re hungry. I hope you have your stretchy sweat pants on because we are about to take you on a food tour of Middle Eastern cruising,

4 (1m 12s):
Stretchy sweatpants as if it’s Thanksgiving. Am I right? Ladies?

2 (1m 16s):
Absolutely

3 (1m 17s):
Dress. That works too.

4 (1m 18s):
That’s very true. So we wanted to bring you guys several episodes talking about one of the best aspects of traveling, trying the local eats and food. And we recently traveled to the middle east, went to Dubai, went to Lebanon and God inspired to share with you all about the delicious foods and how food plays a major aspect in different cultures and traditions around the world. And in this episode, again, highlighting Middle Eastern food.

1 (1m 47s):
Jamal and I have been together for 13 years now, and I have loved Middle Eastern food for all 13 years because Jamal and his dad both do some amazing Middle Eastern cooking and Middle Eastern food is some of my favorite food. I love the falafel, the Kibby, the hummus Touche, the shwarma,

2 (2m 8s):
But can’t be ne

1 (2m 9s):
No Shawarma, garlic sauce. And I just can’t wait to get into this episode to talk about it. All

3 (2m 17s):
This episode is definitely going to make me hungry. I’m already hungry. And I think one of the best ways to experience food in another culture is to do it with a local, which is why when we were in Lebanon. We’re so lucky to go around with Jamal and Dana’s family who took us to all the best spot shows all the best stuff. Mesa is one of my new favorite things. I think America really needs to adopt that. And there is just so much good food that I had never heard of before.

4 (2m 44s):
Yeah. And the maser that you’re talking about, you could almost equate it to the Middle Eastern version of top us. So just imagine a whole bunch of apps out that’s for everybody to have and try. And that’s one of the big things about the Middle Eastern food too, is it has to be shared.

2 (3m 0s):
So the Middle Eastern people are very proud of their food. And you know, I see this in my family all the time, because growing up, my dad would cook all the time and then ask everyone, what did you think? What did you think? Is it good? And if it’s less than 10 on a scale of one to 10, he’d be very, very offended. And Jamal has picked up that very trait as we just earlier today on this recording day had ramen. And I can’t tell you how many times Jamal asked us to rate it on a scale of one to 10.

4 (3m 30s):
Yeah. And I got less than a 10 from Tim on that one. I didn’t bat an eye. I

3 (3m 35s):
Understood

4 (3m 37s):
Those weren’t in my control for the ramen, but nonetheless, very correct. Cena, middle Easterners are proud of their food. So proud when people say they like Greek food. I think to myself, what you’d like Middle Eastern food, because that’s exactly what it is.

2 (3m 51s):
Yeah. We’re all from the same place. You know?

1 (3m 54s):
So let’s talk about how eating in the middle east is a little bit different than eating in the U S

4 (3m 60s):
Well, I touched upon this earlier and eating in the mid east is almost like when you’re eating in China or other places in Asia, it’s very communal. Now there is no lazy Susan for it to go around. But like Kim said earlier, she discovered and loved Mesa. So it’s a lot of community eating. Yes. There are instances where you have your own dish, but for the most part, there’s going to be a lot of apps out on the table. Your Hammas your Baba canoes, some falafel pita bread, et cetera. Yeah. You keep getting on that. We’ll get to that later. As in a save, the good story.

1 (4m 32s):
You know, what I learned is Middle Eastern food is never ending. It’s like course after course after course, and the food does not stop coming to you at all. And you could be full and you can insist that you are full and there’s nothing else that you want. And then another round will be ordered for the table.

3 (4m 52s):
If you, even, if you even Twitch your eye just a bit to insinuate, you wanted more bam,

1 (5m 1s):
Bam.

2 (5m 1s):
So growing up, my parents used to host parties all the time. And of course my dad cooked and it’s like, as soon as someone said that they were full, my dad says, oh, you’re full. No, no, no, no. You want more? You want more. And without even waiting or asking, you just like put more on their plates. And even like this last time when we were in Lebanon, it was so funny because we had went out to dinner at a restaurant. We were stuffed. And then my cousins fiance was like, oh, you want more? And then she just like started to order more. And everyone was like, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. But like they brought out pretty much another meal.

4 (5m 31s):
And you know, for us being there Zana, at least you and I like, we know for sure that that’s the culture it’s to be expected. But even though it’s expected, sometimes you genuinely can’t have any more, but it’s rude to say no, they’re purchasing it. You know, if you’re out at a restaurant or if you’re in someone’s home and you don’t take, what’s offered to you, it’s seen as slightly offensive and insulting. So you always, at least need to take it and at least take a bite. So point being, if you go to the middle east, you’re going to be eating a lot of food.

2 (6m 1s):
Yeah. I mean, I remember being at an aunt’s house and I was so stuffed. I couldn’t eat anymore. And the question was, what do you not like my food? Is it not good? Is it not good? And I’m like, no, I’m full.

4 (6m 10s):
It’s so good. I ate too much.

2 (6m 12s):
I can’t eat anymore.

1 (6m 13s):
Okay. So how do you say cheers or like bona petite? What’s the equivalent in Arabic?

2 (6m 19s):
I guess like the closest thing would be sopping, which literally means to health

3 (6m 24s):
When that’s to one person. But when it’s in the group, it’s the hot cone.

2 (6m 28s):
correct. I know it was like our little cheers

4 (6m 33s):
Tried really hard to pick up a lot of Arabic on that trip. And I was super proud of her and she did. She did look at her. She remembered that.

2 (6m 42s):
Yes. Yes.

4 (6m 43s):
Another thing about Middle Eastern culture when it comes to the food is not necessarily the food itself, but a lot of the culture and mannerisms about when you go out to eat with people and then the bill comes, let’s not kid ourselves. Nobody ever really wants to pay the bill, but there’s always the fight for the bill. And so it’s a little song and dance of, oh no, I invited you out. Let me have it. And then the guest is like, no, are you crazy? I’m going to have it. And then there’s a back and forth. Five minutes of yelling, shouting. Maybe if you want, you can throw your hat in the ring and say it yourself. But at the end of the day, you at least have to put up the fight and somebody will get it.

4 (7m 23s):
But that is to be expected.

2 (7m 26s):
Sometimes you slide your credit card to the maitre D when you walk in, so you don’t even have to partake in the fight and you just beat everyone to it.

4 (7m 32s):
Even outside of the middle east. When I eat here with middle Easterners who are friends and clients, I sometimes have to do that when we arrive, slip the credit card, because even here the fights going happen,

3 (7m 43s):
Even when you do that, there will still be a fight because they’ll say what you gave your credit card already.

2 (7m 51s):
Wow. Which is like, are you kidding me? Yes, yes, yes. So, you know, there’s that. And then I remember years ago when I used to live in Lebanon, one of my cousins taught me that, you know, when someone does say sat there, and like I said, like the cheers, which literally means to helps another thing that people say to is , which literally means your happiness and the meaning of that is that this food is so amazing. We’re also happy. May we have this beautiful feast at your wedding someday? Right? Like, isn’t that so nice Everybody is right. So I remember it was our cousin. Hi Sam, who said that, you know, like, this is what it means.

2 (8m 33s):
Like, may we have this beautiful feast at your wedding? And I looked at him and I was like, well, what if someone tells you thick, but you don’t want them at your wedding? Oh, he looks at me confused. And I was like, just, I’m just kidding. I’m just

4 (8m 44s):
Kidding. It’s a very good question though.

2 (8m 48s):
I’ll be like, bitch, I don’t want you at my wedding,

4 (8m 50s):
Not us. And we do, but other people,

1 (8m 54s):
You know, one of the thing that was really interesting to me is that when you go somewhere, whether it be a restaurant or someone’s home, there’s already like food and vegetables already on the table. And it’s like tomatoes and cucumbers and bell peppers and olives. And they’re kind of like sitting on a cutting board altogether. And as you have the meal, you just start to cut what you need. And I think that was very unique because those things aren’t like prepared in advance cut for you. You just kind of like, oh, you’re having this bread and this cheese. And then you just go to the cucumber and cut your slice. And there it is. And they don’t have that. I don’t think in like any of the other cultures we’ve experienced,

3 (9m 31s):
Even sometimes though when you get takeout or at the table at a restaurant, those things may already be cut up. But they’re always there as like tables, snacks.

4 (9m 40s):
Yeah. I mean, the closest thing I could kind of think to that is say, for example, you go to a Mexican restaurant and then there’s just chips and salsa on the table. Or again, Mexican restaurant, whether it be taking food out or eating there. And then there’s the pickled carrots and jalapenos. Granted, those are items that are prepared and things like that. But those are just, again, the common accompaniments. If I said that correctly, common food items that are going to be on the table for you. And it’s pretty much a standard.

2 (10m 10s):
Yeah. Like in Lebanon, you always have a saucer, like a bowl saucer that has all lives in the juice. Just sitting there.

4 (10m 18s):
Let me some olives,

2 (10m 19s):
I love the Lebanese olives. Like, oh my gosh, it’s so good. And the pickles. Yeah. They, they, they pickle their pickles differently and they’re

4 (10m 27s):
Delicious the type of cucumber that they use. I think

3 (10m 30s):
The Lebanese, no pickles,

4 (10m 33s):
They know sausage.

3 (10m 34s):
They sure do.

4 (10m 35s):
Yeah. So before we get into the main food items, you know what you’ll find at breakfast, lunch, dinner, et cetera. Obviously we know a lot of middle Eastern food, but some of the common spices and staples include like sumac, cardamom, zaatar, Kumon. So a lot of those, maybe people here in the states would say exotic flavors and seasonings. Those are what you would be accustomed to in the middle east.

2 (11m 1s):
Yeah. And I’m trying to think it was Zapata is really time

4 (11m 5s):
Seeds.

2 (11m 6s):
Yeah. And it’s just, it’s delicious. And it’s mixed with olive oil because like, it needs to be like the sweat consistency. It’s, it’s just dynamite. Now that we’ve talked spices and staples, let’s go through an entire menu for the day, starting with breakfast.

3 (11m 22s):
My favorite meal of the day in Lebanon.

4 (11m 25s):
If there’s one thing Middle Eastern is do good. It’s breakfast. I love the simplicity of it. And it’s just so packed with flavor.

2 (11m 32s):
Yeah. So, I mean, you’re not looking at serial or anything like that or waffles. No, no, no, no, no. You’re looking at

3 (11m 45s):
Fool.

2 (11m 47s):
So let’s go ahead and break it

3 (11m 48s):
Better than a breakfast buffet.

2 (11m 50s):
It is.

4 (11m 51s):
What did you think of the mana each or manushi when you were there at camp? Tell us about the whole experience, buying it from vendors on the streets, what it is and how delicious it is. It’s so unsuspecting. Right? It’s so simple, but it’s so bomb.

2 (12m 5s):
Okay. When I lived in Lebanon, I lived off of my page.

3 (12m 8s):
I mean, they’re pretty cheap. It was maybe a dollar 50 when we bought off the street vendor. So what it is is this amazing, like dove a flatbread kind of thing, but very, very flat, more than a flatbread, if that makes any sense, but also Middle Eastern. And then there’s different kinds you can get. So you can get some with melted cheese that saw tar seasoning, you can get lamb and then you get vegetables in it, the staple. So it’s like the tomatoes and cucumber and mint and pickles and that kind of stuff. And so good. They’ll make them, or it’s just a flat bread folded in half or rolled up into like a little bit Rito,

4 (12m 42s):
But what makes it so good is how they prep it. I mean, they literally cook it in brick ovens. They put it in like you see people putting in pizza with the wooden stick. I don’t even know the name of the term for that cooking device, but you know what I’m talking about when they put it in the oven, pull it out, they use that they’re cooked in brick ovens, natural wood-fire heat. So, so delicious.

2 (13m 4s):
Yes. I, you know, okay. So when I used to live there, the cheese manushi, it’s the RK way, cheese, which has just like a white cheese and it used to cost a dollar. So super, super cheap. So you can really live off of that stuff. And that’s how my money went so far as cause that was a dollar and the Zafar was 70, excuse me. It was 50 cents. And then getting all of the vegetables on there. It’s dynamite from the other thing that I really like too is they make them on OCI with the Suzuki, which is the Armenian sausage.

3 (13m 34s):
I love Armenian sausage.

2 (13m 36s):
You know, me too. I mean like, you know, Armenians do sausage, right?

4 (13m 40s):
It doesn’t surprise me that you ladies are sausage fans talking about the Italian beef in Chicago. Here you are. Kim send, you prefer to the Italian sausage.

3 (13m 48s):
You’re not prefer the Armenian sausage over 11

4 (13m 52s):
With you. And I say that as a Lebanese person,

3 (13m 54s):
But I love all sausages.

2 (13m 55s):
I a hundred percent agree with you. This is you. They Armenian and sausage is like the best sausage in the world and not to make this sexual you guys. But when you put white Mayo on that sausage man is and sushi,

3 (14m 11s):
Isn’t there Mayo.

1 (14m 12s):
You’re just some sausages and some white male.

2 (14m 16s):
So they cut up the Susu and they put it on the bread and then they stick it in the brick oven. So like everything gets heated and cooked and everything. Then they put all the vegetables on there and then they have, you know, like, like you have a mustard bottle, right. Squeeze up a mustard, but no mustard on that. That’s disgusting. But instead they have like a Manet’s bottle and they squeezed the Manet’s out and just like, oh my God, it’s so good.

4 (14m 39s):
Well, I’m going to move along and get you ladies off your socks. And I’m going to bring up another fan favorite in the middle east for breakfast. And this was a new one for Kim and Brittany’s Anna, you and I have had dad cook it before many, a times. It’s not on his main repertoire, but going to Lebanon, it really resonated with me again. I’m like, man, why do we not eat this enough? And I’ve started making it since I’ve come home. And why don’t you tell us what that is, ladies,

1 (15m 7s):
It’s a Fetty. And I had never had petita before we went out to a restaurant and I had for the first time and it was so good. And what it is is it is warmed chickpeas that is topped with yogurt and a garlic sauce. And then usually topped with pine nuts and toasted pita chips. And when it goes down, it just melts in your mouth. It’s so warm. It’s so comforting. And it is so flavorful and delicious. And Jamal has recently been adding like dried mint on top. And that just gives it a perfect flight.

4 (15m 41s):
You know, the fed we had in Lebanon didn’t have it. I’m going to say that as a maroon thing, my dad told me when I was making is like, no, no, no, no, you have to put the mint in it. But it’s very unsuspecting. I mean, you hear the description, chickpeas fried pita, bread, yogurt, pine nuts, garlic, garlic sauce, or garlic flavoring. And it doesn’t sound like it would be the most bomb thing in the world. But believe me, when it’s like prep, right? The way that it’s layered, it is such a comfort food and amazing, amazing breakfast. We all went out to that one breakfast spot and everyone was floored with how delicious it was.

2 (16m 15s):
Yes. I remember that morning too. Cause high, some took us to the restaurant and that restaurant is like popular for the Fetty, like the best fatty in all of Lebanon. And I had strep throat strep throat. Yes. I had strep throat that morning for whatever reason. And when that hot Fetty went down and coated the back of my throat, it’s crazy

1 (16m 39s):
Good. Just like that Mayo cooks the back of your throat. Oh

2 (16m 42s):
My God. It just like washes down. You got

3 (16m 45s):
This new woman after that

2 (16m 47s):
Bowl. It really was. It just made me feel so good. And you know, Jamal is sitting here saying that, you know, like it’s not one thing that my dad cooked a lot, but you’ve really inspired him because, you know, last time I was, you know, at your place and you made the 50 for us, dad called and he wanted to know how good was it on a scale of one to 10? Yes. On a scale of one to 10, how was it? And I was telling him that it was like some of the best bet I’ve ever had. And I think that you’ve really inspired him to go back and retry his FET. The, you know,

4 (17m 16s):
He’s been making a lot of it, but you know, he makes it for us, but not often because that’s the next thing that we’re going to talk about is he makes fool more often, which again is a fava beans and chickpeas dish. And it’s cooked down. It’s warm, has all of oil parsley. You use like a sweet onion, almost like as a chip to eat it with has garlic lemon. And it’s basically their version of a porridge. And he usually makes that more. And so we’re so more used to that, but yes, he is inspired on the fatty because he can’t stand the younger Marusha rivaling him on the food game. Cause that’s how, again, Middle Eastern people take their food.

4 (17m 57s):
Seriously.

2 (17m 58s):
Yeah, you’re right. I do remember eating more fool than Fetty growing up. But the thing about Fetty is it’s very, very heavy. And so it’ll fill you up a lot faster and the fool is followed beans and chickpeas. So yes, it’s going to fill you up, but it’s not that heavy feeling the way that Fetty makes you feel.

3 (18m 14s):
Yeah. And I think the cool thing about Breakfast and Lebanon is that it’s, it’s so different from American breakfast where we’re like grabbing a smoothie on the way out the door or just eating a bowl of cereal or something by ourselves. Breakfast is really like sit down experience where yeah, you’re cutting up the veggies and you’re actually sitting with people. And I don’t know if that’s cause we were on vacation there or if that’s actually how it is, but it felt more communal.

2 (18m 41s):
I remember when I was living there, I would sometimes go to my girlfriend. I sells house. I sell, went with us to Cuba and she had this beautiful balcony and we would go out and sit on the balcony and we would have cut up cucumbers, dipped it and loved me, which is like strained yogurts. Yeah. I mean like it’s, it’s dynamite. Right? And you put a whole bunch of olive oil in the Lebanese. So you’re dipping the cucumbers, tomatoes. You have the olives again, you know, the olives, they’re the mint. And then you just have bread. You put it in the bread altogether, make a sandwich from it. You have scrambled eggs. Like it’s just such a beautiful experience in comparison to like rushing out the door here

3 (19m 19s):
In the good way to start the morning. Yeah.

1 (19m 22s):
And a lot of the ingredients are like really fresh too. Like where here in America, where we’re pouring bowls of cereal or, you know, just grabbing a smoothie to go. And we’re kind of like in a rush, it was really nice to sit down and enjoy a meal.

2 (19m 35s):
and another one too is one of Jamal’s favorites. No, I’m just kidding. I don’t know if

4 (19m 40s):
It is, it is. You’re going to say, go

2 (19m 43s):
For it.

4 (19m 44s):
I don’t want to call it anything like a donut, but I’m going to say it’s like their version of a sweet breakfast if we were to have a donut here, but it’s not something that you could eat in your hands on the go. Basically it’s a melted cheese that has some sort of like shredded or cracked wheat or grain that’s on top, but it’s made sweet by putting like honey and homemade syrup on it and buys homemade syrup. I’m just talking simple syrup, water, sugar melting. And yes. And they add the little bit of rose water in it. And sometimes you can sprinkle a little pistachios on it. So that is more a sweet breakfast at tends to also be a dessert after a meal. But if we’re going to compare it to versions of things, you could get here in the United States or other stuff, that’s going to be their sweet one, like a doughnut.

4 (20m 30s):
But again, not

3 (20m 32s):
French toast.

4 (20m 33s):
Yeah.

3 (20m 34s):
Not even

4 (20m 34s):
Because it’s more cause it’s warm too. So I guess that is a better comparison. Yeah. What a better comparison than that. I’m just thinking donuts. Cause I love donuts, but yeah. Yeah. And that’s a really, really good one as well.

2 (20m 47s):
So if you’re already thinking to yourself, oh my goodness. My Stomach and Arabic is button. And so I always say like, buttony like, my stomach wants to explode. And so I was going to say, if your button feels like it’s going to explode, so I wasn’t going for, what’s going for stomach. And I mixed up my languages,

4 (21m 10s):
Getting your languages mixed up on us.

2 (21m 12s):
Truly. That’s what it was. If you’re thinking that your stomach is ready to explode because you’re so hungry, great. You’re in the right place because we’re going to bring out more food. Now we’re going to bring up the snacks, the Mesa,

3 (21m 23s):
Just when you think you could move again from not being stuffed, it’s time for your next meal.

1 (21m 29s):
That’s how it felt. Every time we went out in Lebanon was we just got done with breakfast. Now it’s lunchtime and we just finished lunch and lunch is never ending and oh, what are we having for dinner? And food kept coming. But I loved the Mesa in Lebanon. There is just so many good snack foods that they bring out for you. I love that. It’s communal. So you can get, you know, a little bit of everything.

3 (21m 53s):
I love that little bite little taste of every single thing.

1 (21m 57s):
Yeah. And like you, when you’re in a new country, you have to try every single new thing. Right. So some of the things that they have on the table are like hummus or the grape leaves or Ababa Noosh, which is kind of like grilled eggplant, think of hummus, but like grilled eggplant instead.

4 (22m 13s):
Yeah. Instead of the chickpeas, it’s eggplant grilled and like fire roasted. So it gets that really smoky flavor, but it does have the tahini like homos does on top of it.

2 (22m 24s):
I did not like Baba when I was growing up and now I think, oh my God, cause now it’s kind of an acquired taste for me now. I think it’s the best thing ever. And I just have so much regret that I missed out on all of my dad’s Baba. when I was a kid.

4 (22m 37s):
I think for me, I loved both. They’ll do

1 (22m 39s):
Some other things that they have or like falafel balls or the sausages that Kim and Zena are loving so much. They have the Lebanese sausages or the Armenian sausages. And you know, there’s a good mix too, of like plant-based items and then meat based items, depending on what you’re into. And so I feel like it’s a place where you can eat according to pretty much anyone’s diet.

4 (23m 3s):
Yeah. And speaking of the plant-based versus the meat, one of the things that you’ll also find as the Mesa, because yes, you can get like a quick grab and go street food or restaurant and actually have your own individual meal. But a lot of times, you know, for lunch it will be the Mesa and the Mesa does continue to be on the table at dinner before a main entree to so it’s again, never ending, but one of the greens and fresh items that you could get versus meat is hen B, which I really, really like, it’s basically dandelion greens with lemon juice. So it’s almost like a little green salad of sorts, but not really. And what makes it really good is they have the good contrast with the lemon to some crispy fried, like caramelized onions on top.

4 (23m 48s):
So you have that soft coolness of the greens and then you have that crunch of the crispy caramelized onions. It’s definitely really good. You can eat it alone, but a lot of people will scoop it with the pita and almost make it like a little chip dip type sort of thing.

2 (24m 2s):
And then we also have all of our favorites, Kibby and Kibby ni okay. So I keep joking around about Kabini. Okay. So Kimmy is like a meatball, I guess you can say, it’s just,

4 (24m 16s):
Well, there’s two ways to make it. It is beef or lamb based depending on what type of meat you use. So it’s either going to be beef or lamb and it does have pine nuts in it, but what makes it kid B is it also does have some sort of like wheat product in it or grain. So you can bake it in the oven or you can deep fry it like in a ball

3 (24m 37s):
Yet.

4 (24m 37s):
It’s not really coated. It’s the bread and the grain that they put in it that gives it that texture. So it’s not really like a bread, but that’s why I said it mixes the meat with the starch. And so you can get it two ways that way, most common and the Mid-East to go is going to be the fried way. But you know, he cook it up. It’s going to be in the oven. And so tell us about the could be nays and because you keep saying it, so I just want to give everyone the could be is

2 (25m 2s):
That’s Kibby, right? So it could be ni is raw ni and Arabic is raw. So it’s just the raw meat. And I remember we were at a restaurant in Southern Lebanon and I see them bringing out something to the table. If we didn’t order, you know, they order for you and they bring it out and I see them put it down and I’m like, oh, that’s, thinking to myself. And then I see Kim reaching like the champ. She is to try the new food. Doesn’t even ask questions. She’s just like, fuck it. I’m going to go for it. And I’m like, oh my God, she’s going to eat the rock kid B. And she put it in her mouth and she was like, ,

4 (25m 41s):
It was like the sauce that she couldn’t contain her excitement. She saw

3 (25m 44s):
Kids around me. I just have to eat it.

4 (25m 46s):
But

3 (25m 48s):
So I felt confident eating. It was beef. I felt confident eating it because I actually went on a date once and the guy ordered steak, tartare, Beef tartare. And I was like, are you seriously going to eat raw beef at the table right now? And yeah. So that’s when I learned that you can’t eat raw beef. And so I felt confident eating it there. I like kid B more than could be ne

2 (26m 16s):
No, that’s why I say you were a champ, man. You didn’t even ask questions. You just, you went for it. You did it. You tried it. You know, so,

4 (26m 22s):
Well, I mean, I’ve had beef, tar tar. If it’s made correct, it’s safe for you to eat and it’s decent, but I love the kid be seasoning the way it comes out when it’s cooked. But even as a Middle Eastern person myself, I’m not a kid be named person

3 (26m 36s):
10 out of 10 would not eat again.

4 (26m 40s):
The name though

3 (26m 42s):
Could be all day.

2 (26m 45s):
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3 (26m 50s):
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4 (27m 10s):
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1 (27m 45s):
And there’s so much other things that are offered at Mesa too. Like Dana talked about the , which is like the strained yogurt that you can dip all of the vegetables in and there’s cheese rolls, which are kind of like the American version of mozzarella sticks, but they’re a little bit different

3 (28m 0s):
Egg roll cheese rolls, but

1 (28m 3s):
Good. They’re good. Yeah. And then of course the olives are at Mesa, garlic sauce, pita bread, pita bread is a staple and putting the garlic sauce on the pita bread. I can do that all day every day.

4 (28m 18s):
If you’re a vampire, you’re not going to like Middle Eastern food.

2 (28m 24s):
Yeah, we do. Also, you know what? Going back to love knew real quick. Cause we were talking about it being strained yogurt it’s much thicker than yogurt though. So it’s not like just like the creamy yogurt substance. Okay.

4 (28m 35s):
Thick texture, like sour cream almost, but not the same flavor obviously.

2 (28m 40s):
And then one of my favorite things is the grilled halloumi cheese.

3 (28m 44s):
So good.

2 (28m 44s):
Super dynamites. And we also do chicken liver quite a bit.

4 (28m 49s):
It’s very common, a lot of places in the middle east and a lot of other countries, I feel like here in the states or more westernized countries, if you will, they don’t really use a lot of the gizzard me or other meat other than the normal stuff. So yeah, chicken livers definitely will be on there. There’ll be fried up cooked sauteed, and there’ll be on the table too. And depending on your preference, that could be delicious. I mean, I love myself some , which is duck liver. So why not eat another birds liver and eat that chicken liver on.

2 (29m 20s):
Right? And then they also have fried eggplant, which is just like heaven on earth, especially when you put it with the garlic sauce and pita bread.

4 (29m 29s):
Let’s get to a little bit more greens though, because Kim fell in love with a specific type of salad while we were out there

2 (29m 36s):
Real quickly, before we move on one more thing, the , which are the French fries

4 (29m 41s):
Don’t know, I don’t know what it is about Middle Eastern French fries. They’re 10 times better than you will ever find over here. I don’t know if it’s because they’re fried fresh and they cut it themselves over there and they put some sort of special seasoning on it too. I don’t even know what it is. It’s not any of the ones that we listed earlier. It’s not the car to them. It’s not the Kumon. I don’t know what it is, but it is bomb

2 (30m 2s):
For all the food that we just listed. You’ll always find the tacos with it, which isn’t something that you find here

4 (30m 7s):
At the katas is potatoes Arabic for potatoes.

2 (30m 10s):
Yes. Okay. Now that we’ve touched base on that, let’s move to the greens

3 (30m 14s):
For Touche.

4 (30m 15s):
What is,

3 (30m 16s):
But two is the best salad I’ve ever had in my life. And it’s so simple. It’s greens straight up greens, it’s radishes,

5 (30m 27s):
But I am

3 (30m 28s):
Mints

5 (30m 29s):
Parsley,

3 (30m 31s):
Cucumbers, lemon juice, olive oil, Sumach, and the best part about it are the crispy pita bread pieces that they put on it.

4 (30m 40s):
And that’s what really makes the fatigue is the fried pita. And then the dressing itself is you just simple. It’s all of oil lemon juice. And that sumac seasoning that we were talking about earlier, but what gives the salad it’s freshness is that parsley and mint. If your flavor allows, you can even slice up some scallions or green onions and put it in there and give it a little extra Irby zing. Obviously you’re going to have your normal lettuce, but it’s those fresh things like the parsley and mint that really give it that shining aspect that make it just so fresh and so delicious. But one thing that is a common salad out there as well is to bully. And most people, I feel like who no Middle Eastern food, no to bully.

4 (31m 21s):
And it is also a parsley salad. I will say this though, eating to Bulli and the middle east is not one of my favorite things to do. And I’ll tell you why, because I don’t think they make it anywhere as good as my dad makes it because a lot of people will make to Bulli dry. And you know, if you just took like, imagine eating a bite full straight of parsley, it’s kind of a little dry, right? People don’t put enough oil and the lemon juice or a lot of tomatoes in it to get it kind of liquidy. And so they tend to make it dry. But when it’s made a little bit more wet and moist, I love what moist

3 (31m 55s):
It’s gotta be wet and moist

4 (31m 56s):
Gotta be wet and moist. That’s when the Taboola really, really shines

2 (32m 1s):
The women with their sausages and the men with their wet and moist,

3 (32m 4s):
Apparently middle Eastern food is very sexual.

1 (32m 9s):
And I will say your dad’s to bully is the best to bully. I’ve had to date

4 (32m 14s):
Hands down. You know, I re I remember a story one time when we were in Lebanon, I love my aunt’s cooking. And she’s like one of the best cooks, maybe second best to my dad in terms of home cooks. And she made to Bulli one time and she asked me, she’s like, oh, whose is better mine or your dad’s. And

2 (32m 32s):
I was like,

4 (32m 32s):
Yeah, I was 10 at this time. And I didn’t want to lie to her. So I told her, oh, yours is really good. But I like my dad’s more because she doesn’t make hers as wet. It’s a little bit more dry. And she had the most disappointed look on her face. I felt really bad. And then when we got back to our apartment over there, my dad told me, he said, I don’t advocate line, but you should’ve lied to her and said hers was better. And then told me later, you think mine is better.

2 (33m 1s):
Very competitive.

4 (33m 2s):
I’ll never forget that.

3 (33m 3s):
I think you made it up on our last trip. This is the same aunt who made us dinner. Right.

4 (33m 8s):
Or the meal before we went to the airport. Yes,

3 (33m 10s):
Yes. Lunch, I guess. What was it that you wanted her to make?

4 (33m 14s):
I wanted her to make her famous Escalade. I love it. And you could imagine it like a version of a breaded cutlet or country fried steak, but Middle Eastern.

3 (33m 24s):
Oh my God. It was so good. And the joy we told her Escalade only and patatas, and she was so excited to make this food. And then she went overboard and did for Touche and to Bouley and cauliflower And kid V

4 (33m 41s):
Or fraud call firearms.

2 (33m 42s):
Yeah, that was so good.

3 (33m 44s):
And she just brought her so much joy to do that.

2 (33m 46s):
I remember we were sitting at her house and this was like the day before we were leaving and Jamal got so shy and he’s like, , can you make your Escalade? And she asked, she just like fucking lit up. Yeah. And then Jamal is like, he like gets a little bit more quieter and he’s like, and Patato ups.

4 (34m 6s):
And my dad will even say this. And he doesn’t like to admit anybody’s food is better than his. He knows his Baton game is no match for my hands. Hers are like, legendary. She has a secret to it. I know that secret, but I can’t give it out. I won’t, I won’t even deny it. And

2 (34m 23s):
Not even for a five star

4 (34m 26s):
And we haven’t even gotten to it yet. I’m sure we will. When we get to desserts about the baklava, but I can’t even give out my fathers or the maroon family bok recipe, because it is so secret because it is so sought after. So I can’t give you that patatas,

3 (34m 40s):
If you haven’t tried it yet.

4 (34m 42s):
Wow.

2 (34m 43s):
My dad’s buckle mom.

3 (34m 44s):
I’ve just heard about it,

4 (34m 47s):
Brittany swears by it.

1 (34m 48s):
I do swear by it, but the Escalade, I’m glad you guys brought that up. Cause that really segues into our next portion where we’re talking about meals. And one of my favorite like main dishes or entrees is shwarma I love shwarma. And shawarma is basically like meat that is thinly cut and stacked on like a spicket and the spicket rotates around some heat and that cooks the meat and then they shave it off into like a pita and make like a pita sandwich and it could be chicken. It could be lamb, it could be beef. And it is just so delicious

2 (35m 26s):
And shout out to our cousin while he had, cause he took us to one place where they did the shawarma with Soju

4 (35m 35s):
Armenians,

2 (35m 36s):
And I’ve never had with Suzu, but it was in like the Armenian district there in Beirut. And it was killer.

1 (35m 43s):
You know, what was so funny was every time we went somewhere in Lebanon, they always say, oh, this is a special place. This is a special place that we’re getting. And Xena looks at me, we’re in the back of the car. She looks at me and she’s like, everything’s fucking special. She’s like, and then we go there and we try the shoes. We, how do I pronounce it? She’s

2 (36m 7s):
Oh, sushi

1 (36m 9s):
Shwarma. And she’s like, oh, this is special.

3 (36m 15s):
He took us there after we’d gotten back from where were we?

4 (36m 19s):
I forgot. I mean, he took us

3 (36m 25s):
And then we went and met up with high some later and we told him we went there and he’s like, I wanted to take you there.

4 (36m 32s):
Well then he took us on the falafel tour, but it really good. The shawarma is a Middle Eastern staple. You can find it in restaurants. You can find them from street vendors. It’s so popular that when you eat your Greek Euro shawarma stolen, when you have your Mexican Pastore tacos that are cooked on the spicket, like Brittany’s talking about shawarma taken over there. So it’s basically like those types of styles meet, carved out, put on a sandwich, garlic sauce is a must on it. I love shawarma.

2 (37m 5s):
So next thing we’re going to talk about is the falafel or depending on your accent, fully full

4 (37m 16s):
Tomato.

3 (37m 17s):
I live falafel. There were two things I wanted to eat for short. When we went to the middle east and that was Bach Laval N Felice.

2 (37m 26s):
Now something you should know about falafel is it is packed one, two punch boom with fiber

4 (37m 35s):
Because it’s made from chickpeas, Margo, Bonzo beans.

3 (37m 37s):
Apparently there’s something called falafel farts, which I wasn’t aware of

1 (37m 43s):
Until you got them. Well,

3 (37m 45s):
I cannot, But anyway, apparently there’s a rumor around and talent. That’s the thing.

4 (37m 53s):
Well, that definitely is a thing because of all the beans in it. But let me tell you something well, well worth it because falafel is one of the most common, Middle Eastern staples. We mentioned it’s going to be on the table with the Mesa when it is, it’s just fried out there. You have it as a sampler, but when we’re talking, going out and getting falafel, now they’re putting it in sandwiches with the tahini sauce, teeny as a Sesame sauce with lemon juice, garlic, and then you have your radishes. You’re meant your tomato in it. A lot of sandwiches in the pita bread. So when Brittany said it’s a staple, it really is. Everything is pretty much centered around the PETA, but falafel is just absolutely amazing.

2 (38m 32s):
This is the perfect vegetarian snack too.

4 (38m 34s):
Yeah. I mean, if you go to a lot of vegan places, doesn’t matter if it’s Middle Eastern or not, in terms of their main cuisine, you will find falafel there for sure. Okay.

3 (38m 43s):
And when we went on the tour, we went to a few different shops where they had glass windows in the front where they’re making it. And so you have the big bowl of the mixture and then they were putting it in these little contraptions that put it out in the perfect size, go into the oil, everything’s cooking at once. And then they take them out. And it’s like this just well-oiled machine, like think like Krispy Kreme, donut factory, but for falafel in the street.

1 (39m 6s):
And likely we were talking about earlier where we were saying Middle Eastern are so proud of their food. We actually went to a falafel shop. It was two shops next door to each other. And they were previously owned by the dad. But after the dad passed or something, the two sons took over the business. Then they had a fight over who made better falafel batter. So they decided to split up and make their own shops. And they’re right next door to each other, competing against each other on who’s falafel is better

2 (39m 36s):
Classic dude. Yes. So our cousin high, some took us on the falafel food tour and it was so funny because we were already stuffed because we had lunch a little bit earlier and then he’s like, oh, okay. We won’t do that much. We won’t do that much. And then he orders like 50,

3 (39m 50s):
It doesn’t here, doesn’t there. And then, oh, we’ll get into desserts Slater.

2 (39m 55s):
No, but he was released to, cause I think he knew that Kim, you said that you wanted to try the falafel. And so like if you mentioned that, like you want to try something, even if you’re not really thinking that you’re going to do it, you know, like they, they want to make you happy. Like they genuinely want to do something for you.

3 (40m 10s):
That’s not even just the act of service, but like it’s one part doing something for someone else. But it’s another part, how much joy it brings them personally did do something for another person.

4 (40m 21s):
And that’s the, one of the cultural aspects too, of it vinyl. The food is they really want to show you a good time and make you happy. And it gives them pleasure to bring you pleasure.

2 (40m 33s):
And we’re waiting for you to come visit us here in the states, statesman

3 (40m 36s):
Tacos all day.

1 (40m 39s):
So another one of my favorite main dishes is coughed and coughed is like a rolled meat. Whether it be the, for a lamb or a combination of the both, and it’s kind of rolled into like

4 (40m 50s):
A sausage,

1 (40m 51s):
Sausage shape, or it can even be like padded down and then it either baked or grilled. And then a lot of the times it’s topped with like tomatoes on top as well and onions. And it is so good. It’s kind of like a Middle Eastern hamburger Patty in a sense

4 (41m 6s):
It’s pretty much their version of that. That’s the best way to describe it. But within the meat mixture, whether it be the beef or the lamb, there is tomatoes, there are Middle Eastern seasoning the parsley. So the parsley is a big bust in there to give it that. Now Brittany was right. It can be grilled if it’s grilled, it’s more kind of in that sausage form, but another common way to make it, which I really, really love is baked coughed out, which they put it in a tray and then it’s topped with tomato sauce and then potatoes sliced on top. And then you bake it in the oven. So when you cut it out, it’s almost like their version of a meatloaf, but you have your veggies, your tomato, your potatoes on top is so, so good.

4 (41m 49s):
Like a

1 (41m 49s):
Layered meatloaf almost. Yeah.

2 (41m 51s):
Yeah. So one of my favorites is , which has lentils and rice with fried onions on top. And I know like maybe you’re thinking, okay, lentils, but there’s just something so special about the way that the middle Easterners do it because of the spices that they use. And just, I don’t know, you know, like I buy lentils at Costco and it’s like the wet kind. Whereas I think about my dad’s lentils and they’re dry, but moist, I don’t even know how to describe it, but like, it’s just, it’s phenomenal.

4 (42m 19s):
And it’s one of the things too, where the little things count, you know, here you’ll just have regular lentils, but over there with the you have the fried onions on top and it just makes it so, so special gives it that crunch gives it that flavor, that whole new dynamic absolutely delicious. But I’m not going to lie after talking about all the same re food, what are we having for dessert Baklava?

3 (42m 43s):
Absolutely. Bok Loveis so good. I was obsessed with it before we went to Lebanon and then even more so after Christmas was like my peak of loving baklava and yeah, it’s an amazing dessert. I

2 (42m 57s):
Can’t believe you’ve never had my dad’s.

3 (42m 60s):
I know

2 (43m 0s):
My dad would make trays upon trays upon.

3 (43m 5s):
I tried to mention it to him at the Christmas party, but I think he was like ignoring me or something.

1 (43m 12s):
So speaking of the Christmas party, Kim got so wasted at the Christmas party. And uncle Hanny told her to take some baklava home with her.

3 (43m 22s):
There was like a million trays of Bhagavad at this party. So it wasn’t heaven.

1 (43m 26s):
She doesn’t get a small Ziploc bag.

3 (43m 29s):
I asked him for a bag. I didn’t see what size

1 (43m 31s):
He gives her a gallon size Ziploc bag. And Kim stuffs it full of

3 (43m 37s):
It’s not full, but there was quite a few pieces. So

1 (43m 40s):
Then we take him home. Kim is drunk and I like walk her up to her apartment to make sure she gets home safely. Cause I’m a good friend. And she looks at me and she goes, the balaclava. She’s like, where is it? That’s like the only thing on her mind. So I have to run downstairs, go out to the car and grab the buck live off from the back of the car or bring it back up to her. And she was like, oh, thank God.

2 (44m 6s):
Can you imagine how pissed you’d be like once like Brittany leaves and the door’s closed and you sit on your couch and you’re just like, fuck, where is

3 (44m 13s):
I woke up the next morning and immediately thought I need some black Loblaw.

4 (44m 19s):
I know. And then you couldn’t have had your drunk munchie, bok Luvata or anything like that either. But you

1 (44m 24s):
Know,

4 (44m 25s):
Yeah. I was going to say, we’re talking all about it and if you don’t know what it is already, I’m going to describe it. But I feel bad for, because you’ve been missing out your entire life, living under a rock, I don’t know. But balaclava is a very, very common middle Eastern desert. It’s a pastry. So usually they use filo dough, which is a very, very thin dough. And the dessert is nut-based. So usually with walnuts or pistachios and the nuts are obviously ground up a little bit flavored with sugar, but again, it’s a big dish and melt the butter on top of the dough itself. So it gives it that rich flavor roasted flavor when it’s in the oven and then they have the hints of the rose water, the simple syrups of just water sugar, boiling it up to create a syrup coated on top.

4 (45m 17s):
So it’s just a really sweet nut and pastry dish. And it is absolutely amazing. I will say this though. Some Bach Lovaas are better than the others and my dad’s is up there.

1 (45m 30s):
Xena. Why don’t you tell us about our last favorite dessert that we all experienced for the first time in Lebanon? When we were out to dinner with Layla

4 (45m 39s):
Before Zayna says it though. I just want to say, we talked about earlier for the breakfast can Navy is on here for dessert too, but we touched upon it. So hit us with Zayna.

2 (45m 48s):
Yes. So I’ve never had this before, when we were out, it was new to me and it’s called , which literally means the hair of the girl. And it was like, I mean, how do you even describe it? Like it came out and it was just,

1 (46m 4s):
It’s like cotton candy, any texture, but doesn’t taste like fruity, like cotton candy. It tastes like sweet and rich. And it’s kind of shaped like a bird’s nest or like a girl’s hair, I guess, done up. And then in the middle of it, there is like a sweet, rich ice cream in the middle of that. And then on top of that, it’s like sprinkled with like pistachios or

3 (46m 27s):
Crystallized rose pedal

1 (46m 29s):
Crystallized

4 (46m 30s):
The hand of the rose water. When we’re talking about the spices, it’s not really a spice, but I’m sure you’ve caught on to the theme. Rosewater is real big in the Midwest.

3 (46m 40s):
I love rose water.

2 (46m 42s):
In fact, I was once making pistachio ice cream, Lebanese style, and I accidentally put too much rose water in and it was like rosewater pistachio. You guys remember that batch?

1 (46m 51s):
Yes.

4 (46m 52s):
Too much.

2 (46m 53s):
So I can go

3 (46m 54s):
This dessert is one. When it comes out, you look at the waiter and you like follow it to its table because it’s so beautiful. It comes out in one plate serving for like six people

4 (47m 5s):
Has that presentation. Wow.

3 (47m 6s):
Factors. It’s beautiful. It’s delicious. It’s elegant. I loved it. And it was so unique

2 (47m 13s):
And this was right before the COVID outbreak too. So we were all sharing it.

3 (47m 17s):
This was before COVID was even, but a dream.

2 (47m 20s):
I know, right. It was safe at that time. So a share with caution. But yeah, this ELO Beneta is like crazy.

1 (47m 27s):
That is like probably my new favorite, Middle Eastern

3 (47m 30s):
Dessert. Jamal, you should make that.

4 (47m 32s):
I’ll try my best. I will try my best for you, but only if you give me a 10 on it.

3 (47m 37s):
All right.

1 (47m 39s):
So, you know, we’ve talked all about foods and we just want to bring up a few drinks that are common in the middle east as well. So let’s talk about some of the drinks that we enjoyed while we were in Lebanon and then the middle east.

2 (47m 50s):
So Lebanon makes their own beer and it’s the Almanza beer. I personally love it. Maybe I’m biased. Maybe I’m not, I don’t know, but like it’s good. It’s the all Maza beer.

4 (48m 1s):
We don’t think there’s anything really special to say about Al Mazda in particular with each country, they always have their own beer or their main line of beers. If you will, or company Al Mazda is the main one for Lebanon. I just love trying beer in every country that I go to, whatever their main brand is. I’d love it. Like when we go to the Philippines for Brittany at San Miguel, you want their high-end line. It’s red horse over there. Lebanon’s El Mazda when we were Corona. And when we were in Africa, for example, over drinking something called black label. And then when we were in Zambia, we had Zambizi BZ.

4 (48m 42s):
And I mean, it’s amazing. I just love trying the local beer. Yes it is. Yeah,

2 (48m 47s):
It is. And then along with beer, there was another type of alcohol and Kim was specifically looking forward to trying this one.

3 (48m 54s):
It’s called a rock. It’s a Middle Eastern. Where is it specific to Lebanon?

4 (48m 60s):
I think they mainly make it in Lebanon, but it’s around in the middle east. It’s a spirit though. Oh,

3 (49m 7s):
Okay. Well it tastes like black licorice and it’s very strong, but it’s a clear thing. And little trick that 11 years guy taught me is that if you pour a little bit of cold water into it, mix it up. It glows like this pretty white, glowing color. And so it’s a little like drinking trick before you sip it.

4 (49m 25s):
I would say the Iraq is a classier version of a Yeager Meister, although I’m still not a fan of Jagermeister, but I would say it’s more like classy. Like it’s so strong that they don’t even give you like a full size shot of it. Like they have specific glasses that are half the size of a shock class because of the house

2 (49m 44s):
40 to 63% alcohol by volume, 80 to 126 proof.

4 (49m 49s):
Ooh, Ooh.

2 (49m 51s):
Yeah. In fact, I remember Buzzfeed did a video of people trying Iraq for the first time. And you could just like see the tiny little amount that they get. And it just like hits them.

3 (50m 2s):
I have a bar in my home. So whenever I have people over whatever alcohol I have, there will drink. And then I’ve had the Iraq since the beginning of the year. And that is the one alcohol people will not change. They don’t touch it or, or they’ll open it and smell it or maybe take a little shot and then they won’t drink it

2 (50m 22s):
Because

4 (50m 22s):
It reminds them of high school. Cause it smells like Diego Meister.

1 (50m 26s):
Kim, how do you cheers in Arabic? Do you know for

3 (50m 31s):
A group of us for

1 (50m 34s):
Wonderful. I know you love to say cheers in all the different languages. So I’m actually looking at our show notes and I’ve noticed that two very popular drinks are not listed and one is Arabic coffee. And I don’t even know how we pass this up on the show notes.

2 (50m 49s):
Oh wow. We didn’t even talk about that. Yeah. Arabic coffee. It’s like Turkish coffee and it comes out in tiny little glasses because it’s so thick. And usually, you know, there’s like a coffee dance. So you go to someone’s house and it is customary. You have to ask someone if they want coffee and of course you want coffee, it’s dynamite. So at any hour you want coffee, it doesn’t matter. And the correct answer is no. And then they ask again and then you say yes. So it’s kind of like a little coffee dance and it’s so thick. I think someone has a story about drinking the grinds. I’ll let you say that.

4 (51m 25s):
But

2 (51m 26s):
When you get to the bottom and you get to the grinds, you can also grounds, sorry, when you get to the bottom and you get to the grounds, you can also use the grounds to tell someone’s fortune.

4 (51m 37s):
So they say,

2 (51m 37s):
So they say,

1 (51m 38s):
So the first time I had Arabic coffee yet with, at the household in Woodland, California, and Jamal mom prepared some Arabic coffee and Jamal didn’t warn me. He gave me no warning. So it’s in a tiny little cup, like smaller than a little tea cup. It’s smaller than that.

4 (51m 56s):
I would say it’s almost like an espresso cup. It’s small. And instead of being cooked, espresso style where it comes out of machine and you actually boil the grounds with the water in a little contraption. And so the ground settled to the bottom of it. When you pour it, some ground still get into the cup.

1 (52m 16s):
So, you know, it’s a drink meant to be sipped. It’s not something like you take a shot of or anything. So you just kind of sip on it. So I’m sipping on it, sipping on it. And then there’s a last little bit in the end of my glass and I just go for it and I down it, Jamal didn’t tell me that there was grounds at the bottom. So I ended up with a mouth full of grounds and I’m like, oh,

4 (52m 37s):
Well, I’ve been drinking it my whole life. And to me, it’s commonplace to know that there’s grounds at the bottom of your Arabic coffee cup or Turkish coffee, whatever you want to call it. And I just didn’t think anything of it because to me, I guess I’m a little a bias in that sense. It’s common knowledge, at least so our thought. And so I didn’t think the need to warn Brittany, but every time we have Arabic coffee, Brittany never forgets to remind me of the story. And now she has shared it with you guys as well.

1 (53m 6s):
And one other drink that we didn’t put on the show notes was the white coffee, which I learned about in Lebanon. And I don’t typically drink regular coffee. So I did pass most of the time. But when we were out at restaurants, I did want to have like an after meal drink. Cause that’s very common. And so I was looking for something decaf and they have something called a white coffee, which is not coffee at all, but it’s like warm water with rosewater placed into it. And it’s just really refreshing and really nice and light. And I loved it.

2 (53m 39s):
There we go with our rosewater again, water. So, and then finally to round it off in the home, you always have fruit. You always have coffee, you always have tea and you always have chocolate.

3 (53m 50s):
That’s like so different from American culture. When American culture, someone comes into your house, you usually offer them like a glass of water. I think that’s pretty common. But In the middle east, it is much bigger than that. There’s platters of fruit. There’s immediately boxes of chocolate. Like you get on Valentine’s day that they’re bringing to you asking if you’d like one, of course the coffee, of course the tea. I mean, sometimes there’s a lot more, but that’s like the minimum that’s usually there.

4 (54m 16s):
I just think a lot about Middle Eastern culture and the food. It just really kind of all revolves around it. When you host people, you’re having them over to enjoy a meal with them. And that’s something that’s so different than our cultures. Again, the meal is to be enjoyed with people and shared. So it’s something that they want to do. And that’s why when you go into somebody’s home, you will always be offered the tea, the coffee have fruit out, and it’s just a whole cultural experience.

2 (54m 43s):
It’s a good time.

3 (54m 44s):
And then I think I mentioned this for breakfast, how it’s just communal and kind of slower. And that’s really how all of the meals were. There weren’t really many or any rushed meals that we had. Everything was a sit down. It was an experience. There was for

1 (54m 58s):
Hours,

3 (54m 58s):
Multiple

2 (54m 59s):
People

3 (55m 0s):
Longer spans of time and just slower.

2 (55m 3s):
You know, what else we didn’t mention is they always have nuts out

1 (55m 7s):
To

3 (55m 8s):
Nuts. All those, all the

1 (55m 10s):
Nuts.

2 (55m 12s):
In fact, when I, I remember when I first started living there in my early twenties, like nuts, actually, I don’t know why, but like I would, I’m not allergic to nuts at all, but I used to get sick at least once a month off of nuts. So I actually don’t eat that much nuts, especially like when we went over there, but interesting enough for my stomach. And that brings me into our question of the week.

1 (55m 37s):
Ooh

2 (55m 47s):
Of the week. That was so good guy. Okay. So our question is from Barry, from Washington DC. And he says, what should you do if food doesn’t agree with your stomach while traveling and Barry from DC, I feel your brother it’s happening.

3 (56m 4s):
It has happened to the best of us. I have lived to tell the story.

1 (56m 8s):
So what did you do to combat the food poisonings?

3 (56m 11s):
So when I got food poisoning, it was in the middle of the Andes mountains at one in the morning and Yeah. With no actual toilets around, but it was fine. You know, it’s kind of gross, but you just have to get it out of you. And also we always say this, but always, always, always have Cipro with you when you travel

1 (56m 36s):
And not just Cipro, we want like Pepto-Bismol Modia Modi. Yeah. All of the good things to have with all your traveling

3 (56m 45s):
And that will literally save your life.

4 (56m 47s):
And we’ve had episodes and talked about this before in the past, in terms of being prepared when you travel and what better way to bring it back up then talking about food too. Cause you always want to try those goodies in other countries. Sometimes it’s not the food itself, but just in general, when you go to other countries, different bacterias out there, whether they be good or bad can upset you. So always be prepared, have that antibiotic potentially tell your doctor, you’re traveling and have them prescribe you. One have those times Pepto, it’s going to make it as comfortable as possible should something happen. And I do want to say, don’t forget the Imodium. I mean, what I mean, you can take those antibiotics and those Toms, but it’s not going to stop it.

2 (57m 30s):
No, I love it because I wasn’t expecting you to say that, but like that’s perfect advice. Absolutely. I’m sure we’ve all used Immodium at one point or another on the road. So

1 (57m 40s):
Any final thoughts before we close out this episode,

3 (57m 44s):
I am starving for some falafel and for Touche and VOC LaVar right now. And that’s all I have to say.

2 (57m 50s):
Wow, Jamal, and I’s last name. Rouche doesn’t really have anything that rhymes with it, except for, for two

4 (57m 57s):
. I think our cousin will even said he used to, if you get made fun of, and they called them Rouge for two-ish didn’t they? Yeah. But the final thought that I do have it doesn’t necessarily send around the Middle Eastern food itself other than it’s absolutely delicious. But again, we’re bringing you this episode because of the joy of having food. When you travel, it really is a different experience. There’s no better way to get you to understand and acclimated to a culture then through its food. And it’s such a big part of traveling and it’s one of my favorite things to do. So don’t ever be afraid to eat any of the food. When you travel, live a little, you’re going to enjoy it.

2 (58m 38s):
And if anyone asks you what you think about the food, the answer is a 10.

1 (58m 42s):
Yes.

3 (58m 44s):
Go for the kid. Be ne Thank you guys for tuning into this week’s episode. Please keep the adventures going with us. Follow us on Instagram and YouTube, just search Travel Squad Podcast. And please send us in my favorite questions of the week.

2 (58m 60s):
And if you found the information in this episode to be useful, or if you thought we were just playing funny, please make sure to share it with a friend that it will enjoy it too.

4 (59m 8s):
And as always guys, please, please, please subscribe, rate and review our podcasts and tune in every Travel Tuesday for these new episodes,

1 (59m 17s):
Pack your bags and grab your swimsuit. Because next week we were taking you with us to the big island of Hawaii.

keep the adventures going

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