Mezze (Mez-zay) is a style of shared plate dining, which is essentially
designed to encourage social and leisure meals. Unlike appetizers, it makes up
for an entire meal, combining hot and cold vegetarian and meat items.
Chicken Tagine is a dish of Moroccan origin. It is a meat stew
traditionally cooked in a conical earthenware pot, which allows the steam to
rise and condense onto the stew. One can very easily trace the country’s long
history of colonizers and immigrants who left their mark through this single
dish. The cuisine of the first inhabitants, the Berbers exists through this
staple dish. The Arab invasion can be felt by the spices and dried fruits used
to produce a sweet and sour taste.
“K’seksu” or Couscous, a staple from North Africa is also a traditional
Berber dish that has been documented back to 238-149 BC. It is a dish
consisting of cooked fine semolina and vegetables. It is very inexpensive and
nutritive, and is cooked in a special utensil called the couscousiere. The
vessel has two components; a bottom-perforated pan which contains the grain,
and a globular pot that holds the stew. The steam coming off the boiling stew
is used to cook the Couscous granules. Moroccans have been following the
practice eating with their hands throughout their past, hence they roll up the
Couscous into small balls and eat it by using a very particular popping motion,
which doesn’t allow the Couscous to disintegrate.
The early forms of Hummus first appeared in a medieval cookbook “Kitab
Wasf al- Atima al Mutada” (Book Descriptions of Familiar Foods) in 13th century Cairo. Its major
difference in taste was the fact that it used vinegar instead of lemon without
the addition of garlic.
Swiss Chard is one of the favorite additions, as Arabic and Lebanese use
it sautéed, or braised with garlic, lemon juice, and seasonings. It is also
consumed in lentil soups to build on flavor and depth. The more rigid stems and
ribs are trimmed off, and the leaves are used to make rolls to be steamed or