40 Tastes and 40 Bites - My food adventure in Jordan!
A couple of weeks ago, when I was being a hermit and chilling in the house, I was with my favourite companion Netflix. It’s safe to say I think Netflix is everyone’s favourite companion. Anyway one of the most amazing things about Netflix is the array of old movies and luckily I stumbled on one of my favourites, Indiana Jones. I loved Indiana Jones as a kid not only because Harrison Ford was an ultimate babe in the film but also for its sense of adventure!! Each place Indi went to, I always felt the need to go to too.. My favourite out of the series of films is The Last Crusade, firstly because Sean Connery is in it (who doesn’t love the Scot?) secondly the story line. The highlight of the movie to me was at the end, when Indiana, Professor Henry Jones, Marcus and Sallah are in front of Petra, get on their horses and ride into the sunset. It was a dream to go to Petra, and luckily recently I lived that dream.
It’s been few days now recovering from an intense holiday but wouldn’t change it for the world. I visited Jordan for 10 days ,Jordan is memorising, in terms of history and landscape. It’s a place so different from what I am use to but yet intriguing. I went to Jordan to celebrate a friend’s wedding, which I can say was filled with so many loving, happy, fun and emotional memories. As excited as I was for the wedding celebrations, I was equally as excited to explore Jordan, its culture and especially the food.. Now before I went I had already researched on all there was to know about Jordanian food, so needless to say I was fully prepared when I arrived.. Luckily though the now newlyweds also provided a list of foods to try whilst in Jordan. They really took care of their entourage.
One thing I can say about Jordan is that their hospitality is above and beyond and they show it through their food. Everything that was served at the wedding and even during our trip afterwards was always served in abundance.
Of course whenever you visit a new country you have to try all they have to offer, and I could tell you in detail what to eat but that’s going to be a very long read. Though there are a vast array of cuisines in Jordan, majority of the food is Levatine Cuisine. What I will tell/mention is the list of food that constantly caught my attention
After being in Jordan I can honestly say that hummus will never taste as good anywhere else. The hummus is so smooth! I struggle making hummus at home so smooth, and I found it mind boggling how the Jordanians were able to do it so easily. What is the secret! It seems as if Hummus is served for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Even though it’s not Jordanian I tried something new called Hummus Bil Lahme. Hummus Bil Lahme is a Lebanese dish which is essentially Hummus with chunks of meat in it and it was glorious. Hummus, it seems, is the equivalent of butter in Jordan. Make sure to try it with some glorious falafel.
Falafels are the ultimate street food. You can have it as a meal, snack, or both. The best thing about the falafels is that it has the perfect amount of crisp on the outside and is very fluffy on the inside. Best place to have falafels is in downtown Amman in a restaurant called Hashim. Falafels are normally paired with pita bread, yoghurt, hummus, baba ghanoush
SIDE NOTE: Jordan is the land of sauces and fresh salads. One of my favourites is Baba Ghanoush (smoky eggplant), Labneh (yoghurt with herbs), or Tabbouleh (lemon and fresh parsley)
The meat lovers dream. Favourable dish around Europe after a heavy night out but the Sharwarma in Jordan is a thousand times better than the West. You can find Sharwarma in any place in the streets of Amman, they are literally on every corner. There are a variety of meat options: one can have either Lamb, Chicken or Beef. What I particularly enjoyed with the Sharwarma is the toasted bread and the garlic sauce. Perfect Combo!
I’m really sad that I only ate this once during the whole trip, as it was my favourite. Rice cooked with Lamb and then accompanied by Jameed, a yoghurt based sauce. The flavour was simple, yet powerful!
(IMAGE FROM GOOGLE, as I didn't get a chance to take a photo)
Now I had to research what this technique/dish was called but when I was in Wadi Rum at the Sun City Camp for dinner they made Zarb. Zarb is meat that is cooked underground in a submerged oven called Taboon. It is considered a Bedouin dish. I can honestly say I have never had a more tender piece of lamb in my life. My mouth is just watering reminiscing about it.
6. LEMON AND MINT JUICE
On a hot summers day this is the perfect drink to have. Being in Jordan during a heat wave, this drink is what kept me going! It was fresh but somewhat sweet ( but I think that’s due to the wee bit of sugar they put)
7. JUNGLE FEVER COFFEE AND TEA HOUSE
Well this is not a food item but it’s a place where you can get drinks/foods which is why it’s on the list. A small, colourful, quirky café on top of the National Fine Art Gallery is the perfect stop for your touristic endeavours. It has a beautiful view of Amman. Not only does it serve delicious coffees and teas but on those hot days those cold coffees and ice teas come in handy! Perfect place to catch up on those emails for freelancers too!
If you’re a sweet tooth like myself, you can not pass up eating some Baklava. There are a variety of baklavas but each pastry will have several layers of dough, filled with nuts such as pistachios, sugar or honey. Best places to get them are from sweet shops in Amman.
There is something about the Jordanian Dates that are heavenly. Whter you’re eating them fresh or even raw, they are impeccably sweet.
Those are just the few of my favourite dishes whilst being in Jordan. The main thing is when you’re in Jordan, do not overeat… because there will be a point where you think that the food you’re given is all you’re going to get, but somehow there will be three or four more dishes coming behind you.. Also if you love Lamb like myself, always have it! I can say I missed a lot of traditional dishes but that’s all the more reason to venture back to the beautiful country. TILL we meet again JORDAN