on Dec 30, 2014 By Danielle Issa
It’s that time of year again, folks. With January just around the corner, we bid adieu to the year’s virtues and vices and make room for a whole new slew of adventure. Nowhere is that more applicable than on the Lebanese culinary scene— what, you thought predictions were only of a political nature?
Move over, Michel Hayek. Beirutista’s poised at her crystal ball to fill you in on all the goodies in store for you in the big 1-5. From Latin American cuisine to meals in jars, here’s everything you can look forward to devouring when 2015 comes around.
Photo via Facebook
Ethnic foods from Latin America will start to gain recognition in a city saturated with sushi bars, burger joints, pizzeria and French bistros. And I’m not talking clichéd Tex-Mex. Welcome the savory and sweet flavors of Argentina, Peru, Chile, Mexico and more, with sambousik-look-alike empanadas, ceviches made of mango and octopus, and chilaquiles composed of fried corn tortillas and piquant mole. Have you tried Morenito in Gemmayze yet? Brace yourself for a fresh parade of tastes and flavors like you’ve never experienced before, and that’s a guarantee.
Photo via Beirut Review
No one can question the convenience of jars: compact, convenient, reusable and portable figure among their finer qualities. Typically used in Lebanese “mouneh” to preserve jams, olives, and goat labneh in oil, jars are starting to take on a more quotidian property, serving as containers for meals, salads and desserts. Jars & Co. in Monot is centered on the concept, presenting feta and jalapenos as a snack jar; composed salads in long jars; and decadent desserts like a cappuccino mousse to round out the jar fest. Gordon’s Café at Le Gray has pioneered tiramisu in a mason jar, and it is delectable.
Photo via Jars & Co.
Crepes are not new to the Lebanese dining scene, but galettes de sarrasin are. The darker-complexioned cousin to the fair crepe, these thin pancakes are derived from buckwheat flour and nix sugar altogether from their dough mix. They’re usually folded around savory fillings like Serrano ham and Emmental cheese, or a chicken, spinach and mushroom fricassee. Carpe Diem was one of the first cafes in Beirut to feature les galettes, but Crepaway’s also got a few delicious specimens on its new menu.
Photo via No Garlic No Onions
American comfort food from the heart of the Deep South is starting to find a faithful following in many a Lebanese diner. Mac and cheese served in a skillet is one representative dish, featuring oven-baked elbow pasta shells smothered in a four-cheese mix and topped with Panko bread crumbs. BRGR.CO’s is notoriously scrumptious. How about classic American apple pie, with that golden buttery crust and granny smith apple filling? Head to Divvy for your splendid slice. And no, you don’t have to share!
Pork doesn’t have a cradle in the traditional Lebanese spread, owing to both religious dietary restrictions and general unfamiliarity with its methods of preparation. But many restaurants in Lebanon are taking an audacious stab at the most commonly consumed meat worldwide, crafting novelties like pulled pork sandwiches and sliders. Junkyard was one of the first to introduce it, and Lord of the Wings was on its heels, spotlighting the Pulled Pork and Slaw in a brioche bun on its latest menu.
Photo via Blog de chanty
Danielle Issa is a food blogger in Lebanon. You can find her on Twitter, and be sure to check out her blog, Beirutista.
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