When you travel, the meals you eat tell a story, its distinct social customs, and the ancient cultures and traditions, all while granting you the chance to connect with the locals. The intricate link between food and travel is so exciting that you won't miss it during your trip. One of Palestine's most impressive attractions—is food. Colorfully varied and, above all—delicious, Palestine's cuisine follows the traditional Levant style, with its own unique identity and diversity. Each city, village, the town of Palestine has its different practices and secrets, priding itself on its character ingredients and individuality.
Regardless of the tour type that you will get, be sure to taste the local Palestinian cuisine. Enjoy the very best food once you explore the vibrant cities, holy places, museums, old towns, markets, stunning architecture, and Palestine's nature. To help inspire you, here is a list of some of the most famous food experiences that you can have:
Hummos, Falafel & Ka'ek Al Quds: Delicious & Unique!
Many hummus versions are available worldwide, but no one likes the Palestinian Hummos. It is s a delicious spread or dip made from chickpeas, tahini, lemon, and spices and usually served during breakfast or as part of a popular mezze -a collection of hot and cold small plates served at the beginning of the meal - including the tasty Falafel. Falafel is delicious balls of chickpea, herbs, and species. After frying, the mixture of the texture becomes crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. You will also enjoy street food in wraps, pitas, sandwiches, and salads. Ka'ek Al Quds is a savory bread found over Palestine's streets, especially in Jerusalem's beautiful city, and it accompanies many meals. It is very close to pita bread, but with yogurt and milk, sprinkle sesame seeds and cook them in a hot oven to create a pocket in the middle. Traditionally is accompanied by zaatar, labneh, or hard-boiled eggs.
Hummus, Falafel, and Kaek are must-try food when you make a tour in ancient Jerusalem, where you will unravel pages of timeless history and culture seldom seen elsewhere in the World.
Warak Dawali & Mahshi: Fascinating and Creative!
These meals are examples of the courses that genuinely symbolize the care, patience, and passion Palestinians put into their food.
Warak Dawali "stuffed grape leaves rolls" are vegetarian or made with minced meat mixed with rice, herbs, tomatoes, onion, garlic, and olive oil. The vegetarian ones are usually eaten cold, and the meat version is hot. The Mahshi is a broad group of dishes, including vegetables stuffed with rice, herbs, and meat. The most common plants used as containers are zucchinis, squash, peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, and onions. The Warak Dawali & Mahshi are typically eaten as a main dish and served with light salad and yogurt. You will revitalize with the exotic flavors of this spicy dish.
Maqluba: Tasty and Talented!
Maqluba or Maqlooba is an upside-down rice dish very talented. Maqluba's recipe consists of layers of vegetables, flavored rice, chicken, or lamb stacked on top of each other and cooked to perfection. Traditionally it includes cauliflower or eggplants as main vegetables, but you'll find recipes adding potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, peas, or even chickpeas. When the meal has finished cooking comes the fun part, the pot is flipped upside down onto a large serving platter, then lifted carefully to reveal the wonder! You will be delighted with its fascinating contour. It is combined with a simple salad or yogurt and traditionally cooked on weekends and special occasions—a dreaming dish not to miss!
Shawarma: Delicious and Distinctive!
Around the World, you will find a diversity of Shawerma, especially in Turkey. But the Palestinian one has a distinctive taste. When you walk around towns or cities, you'll find a few small places that specialize in just making Shawarma.
Shawarma is well-marinated meat with a combination of spices (chicken, beef, or lamb). It is layered on a vertical rotisserie or a long-standing skewer slow-roasted with radiant gas or electric heat until perfectly tender and full of flavor. The vendor cuts off thin slices of the roasted meat and serves them in an Arabic bread wrap or sandwich covered with Tahini sauce, pickles, sliced tomatoes, onions with sumac, and red cabbage. Sounds mouthwatering, right? Experience the joy of Shawarma during your tour in Ramallah or Bethlehem; these cities have perfect places options.
Mushakhan: Savory and Original
Musakhan is one of the most popular and traditional Palestinian recipes. It is usually prepared to celebrate freshly pressed oil during the olive oil pressing season. Musakhan has straightforward ingredients. Olive oil, tangy sumac, a hint of spices, onions caramelized to the point of being sweet and tender, perfectly roasted chicken, and fresh "tabon bread." Altogether are the perfect mix for this fabulous dish where your hands will get a little dirty, but it is more than a magnetic platter.
The sumac is one of the leading players in Musakhan; it is a spice that comes from the berries of the Rhus shrubs. The Tabon bread is usually baked in a sweltering oven with small round smooth stones. The color of the bread turned out fantastic, and it is crusty and marvelous.
Mujaddara: Exquisite and Easy!
Mujaddara is a healthy, protein vegetarian combination of lentils and rice enriched with generous amounts of onions cooked in olive. It is a classic Levantine menu easy to prepare and served with yogurt, salad, or both.
Tabbouleh: Fresh & Healthy!
Tabbouleh is a super fresh herb and bulgur salad, with parsley being the main ingredient. It's dotted with diced cucumber and tomato and dressed only with olive oil and lemon juice. It's refreshing, light, and packed with healthy ingredients. Tabbouleh is the perfect and most-loved starter salad typically served chilled or at room temperature. Do not forget to ask your guide about the best place to taste this salubrious mixture during your next trip to Palestine.
Manakeesh & Sfiha: Adorable and Real!
Manakeesh is a popular native food consisting of dough topped with za'atar, cheese, or ground meat. Like a pizza, it can be sliced or folded, and it can be served either for breakfast, lunch, or enjoyed as an appetizer later in the evening. The roots of a manakeesh, extent in the eastern Mediterranean coastline, are known by many names, including Manakish, manaquish, manaeesh, or a mankousheh. In general, women bake the dough to provide their families with bread's daily needs in the morning. It also is available as street food and at the main restaurants.
The Za'atar is a traditional spice blend of combinations of oregano, others herbs with sumac, and toasted sesame seeds. In Palestine, it is pervasive and serves during all breakfasts with olive oil. The Manakeesh with cheese is prepared with the famous and local Nabulsi cheese. Its name refers to its place of origin, Nablus, one of Palestine's primary cities-must explore.
The Sfiha is similar to Manakeesh because it has the same base but delicious meat topping. Some people use tahini in the meat mixture, some use pomegranate molasses, but regardless of the recipes, all have a delightful taste, especially when fresh out of the oven.
The Manakish and Sfiha are highly recommended food during any tour. If you don't have too much time to eat, they can be part of an excellent mezze.
Kubbeh: Savory & Light!
Kubbeh is a light, satisfying food consisting of bulghur cracked wheat, minced onions, and lean ground beef meat and topped off with spices, like cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and clove. Whether fried, baked, or eaten raw, formed into a lemon-shaped sphere, or flattened in a large pan, it is just a matter of taste. In Palestine, you will commonly be offered fried balled-shaped Kobbeh, eaten mainly as a starter, mezze, or side dish. There are many variations of the kubbeh as there are cultures across the Palestinian cities, and kubbeh is a well-loved and unforgettable dish that you will undoubtedly enjoy.
To culminate your gastronomic experience, you have to try the Palestinian deserts. We have many dessert varieties to satisfy your taste buds, whether your need sweet is. Get ready for our selective collection:
Kunafeh Nabilsiyeh: Just Impressive!
Possibly the most popular and loved dish to come out of Nablus is the Kunafeh. A thin-layered crust of noodles or semolina flour baked over sweet cheese bathed in copious amounts of rosewater syrup. The cheese filling is the traditional one made in Nablus. Once you've tried it, you'll never stop craving it! On top of Kunafeh, Nablus is famous for generating a massive collection of other sweet treats, from baklawa coated in nuts and syrup to sticky caramels and deep-fried and doughy Zeinab's fingers and Awasem. Furthermore, it is possible to stumble upon famous sweet-making factories in the Old City of Nablus – even more reason to explore!
Qatayef: Lovely and Versatile!
Qatayef is usually eaten during Ramadan to break the fast. But it can be enjoyed at any time of year. They are small Arabic pancakes filled with cheese or nuts like walnuts, almonds, pistachios. In general, they are either fried or baked and covered with rose water syrup. The pancakes' ingredients are flour, semolina, yeast, milk, baking powder, salt, and sugar. It is prepared on the streets and in sweet shops throughout Ramadan. But also they are easy enough to make at home. Appetizing Qatayef is an exceptional experience that you will never forget.
Awwama: Delish & Simple!
Awwama is perfect for every occasion. Small dough balls fried until golden brown and crispy and then coated with simple syrup. Make sure to have enough of these balls—there's no way you can eat just one!
Harisseh: Appetizing & Authentic
This cake is so famous it reaches three different names all over the Levant. In Lebanon is called Namoura, in Egypt, Basbousa, and Palestine, Harisseh. No matter what you name this cake, the zest is entirely delicious! The Palestinian Hariseeh is made with semolina, not white flour, clarified butter, yogurt, and sugar; no eggs are required. An essential ingredient to grease the pan is the tahini. After baking its nuttier texture, absorb the fragrant simple syrup and is topped with blanched almond or pine nuts. Are you dreaming of Harisseh now? Be sure to sip it on your next trip to Palestine.
Ma'amoul: Luscious & Exclusive
Ma'amoul is the traditional cookies made for special occasions like Christmas, Easter, or Eid and served with Arabic coffee and chocolate to guests who come during the holiday. Ma'amoul is an ancient cookie filled with fruits and nuts such as dates, walnuts, and pistachios. The cookies are shaped differently according to the contents that are hiding inside. The dough, which contains no sugar, is made with semolina flour, ghee, and yeast and perfumed with rose and orange blossom water.
You will find various traditional bakeries during your walkthrough Nablus, Bethlehem, Ramallah, or Jerusalem during your journey to Palestine. Many of them sell homemade Ma'amol, and it will be a great gift idea for your loved ones!
Food is at the heart of social life and traditions in Palestine. Meals are prepared with care, using only the best ingredients, and shared with family members and friends over long conversations with an Arabic coffee or tea. On a trip to Palestine, one of the best things you can come away with is an appreciation for food's important role in our lives.