Food in Jordan

Some say you travel to Jordan so you can see Petra Jordan. Others say you visit Jordan to experience Jordanian Food.

In Jordan, mealtime is not merely a biological function, but, rather, a time of celebration. 

In [Food local family]  culinary terms, Jordan has many influences from Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine, and as such enjoys one of the world's most sophisticated and elaborate cuisine's. The rich Jordanian food coupled with the famous Jordanian hospitality creates an atmosphere of festivities each time a meal is served.

There is a wide variety in the Jordanian style of cooking. The authentic Jordanian cuisine can range from grilling (shish kababs, shish taouks) to stuffing of vegetables (grape leaves, eggplants, etc.), meat, and poultry.

Also common in the Jordanian style of cooking is roasting, and/or preparing foods with special sauces. No matter what the style of cooking, Jordanian cuisine promises to satisfy anybody's taste buds.

Mealtime in Jordan is not merely a biological function, but, rather, a social event. Jordanians are generally grouped during meal time and are presented with food in a collective manner. 

The food was displayed with grand recipients- such as Mansaf, freekie, and stuffed or whole lamb. The guests would stand as a communal group and share from the one large portion. Today, the food has remained the same, but people have adapted to portion control and individualized food presentation. The same grand recipient is presented. However, guests fill their personal plates with the portion needed. The use of modern utensils in food handling is the norm.

Food is a very important aspect within the Jordanian culture. In most villages, meals are a community event with the immediate and extended family present. In addition, food is commonly used by Jordanians to express their hospitality and generosity. Jordanians by nature are very hospital people and, often, it is presented within minutes of a person's invitation to a local house.

It is with pride that Jordanians serve family, friends, and guests in their homes; no matter how modest their means.

A 'Jordanian invitation' means that you are expected to bring nothing and eat everything.

Most popular in Arabic cuisine, in general, are the appetizers, also known as mezze or muqabalat. On most occasions, the mezze layout is such a grand presentation and so satisfying that it could be considered a feast in itself. 

The most common and popular of the appetizers is hummous, which is a puree of chick peas blended with Tania (pulped  sesame seeds), lemon, and garlic. Fool Moudames is another well-known appetizer. A workers meal, today it has made its way to the tables of the upper class. A successful mezze must of course have koubba maqliya. Koubba is a deep fried oval-shaped ball with a meat and bulgar wheat paste as its crust and an aromatic filling of minced meat and pine nuts in the middle.

Of course, when we discuss Jordanian food, we have to mention- at length- the most distinctive Jordanian dish, Mansaf.

Mansaf is a Bedouin dish and often symbolizes an occassion. Mansaf consists of Arabic rice, a rich broth made from dry sour milk (jameed), and either lamb or chicken. 

Whether Jordnains are celebrating a graduation, an engagement, or a wedding- Mansaf is commonly served. In addition, Mansaf is also served during condolences and as a means to patch up ties with others.

Mansaf on the menu is the greatest symbol in Jordanian culture for generosity. The level of generosity is determined by the amount of lamb presented. 

Utensils are not commonly used when eating Mansaf. Guests feast from the communal dish using their hands. Due to the fact that it symbolizes a social community gathering. The grand presentation is placed in the middle of the dinning setting.

No matter what your preference, Jordanian cuisine will most definitely offer you something to please your taste.

There is so much more to Jordanian food than mere ingredients. There is a history of hospitality and rich cultural traditions that come with your dish. Bon Appetite.