In the three months that I had been living in Egypt prior to going to Lebanon I probably lost somewhere between 5-8 pounds. Thats what happens when you live off of food you can make in a microwave/hot plate/water boiler. So I was looking forward to eating home cooked meals for a week like you wouldn't believe!! I had also heard stories every day about the amazing food that I was in store for from Raina nearly every day leading up to going to Lebanon. The things that were on the top of my need to eat list were tabbouleh, chocolate croissants, fattoush, and falafel. But never would I have guessed how much food I was going to eat that week or how many different types of food I was going to eat.
I ended up in Lebanon during 'Eid, and part of the holiday is a feast. But I swear to you I feasted EVERY night. The first full day I was in Lebanon I hadn't yet figured out that one I need to eat slowly so that I am not encouraged to keep eating after I am full, and two my stomach hadn't yet expanded to be able to accommodate the amount of food I was now eating compared to my meals back in Egypt. So at around 3am after my first full day in Beirut I got sick...and the wonderful food I had been enjoying all day payed me a second visit. :-( Thank-God Raina came and found me and helped me clean up after myself and shove me into bed. (SORRY RAINA!!!)
But nonetheless....you all seriously need to eat some Lebanese food. Come find me in the US and I will cook some for you! Let me describe to you a normal eating day. Wake up and drink tea and/or Turkish Coffee, eat fruit, chocolate croissants, that cheese filled stuff, lentils with olive oil, mint, and lemon. Lunch would be Mana'esh bread filled with cheese or zatar...which I don't know how to describe..., hummus, lots of flat bread, wara 'inab grape leaves filled with rice and/or meat, tabbouleh parsley salad usually eaten on lettuce leaves (AMAZING), fattoush also salad like, or we would eat out and eat normal restaurant food, and we ended with fruit and coffee/tea for desert. Dinner was usually more of an experience one night we went to a restaurant right on the Med...you name it it made it's way to our table that evening. But the reason we went out that night was to eat fish, don't tell my father, but I ate an entire fish that night! It was a once in a life time experience :-P One of my favorite dishes I ate the whole week though was loubia bi zeit green beans, olive oil, garlic, and tomatoes (YUMM). After we went to the movies (Will come in another post soon) Raina's cousin Fadi took us and his family out for falafel...and I must say Lebanon totally does falafel better than Egypt.
All in all Lebanon was a fabulous eating adventure and I would encourage everyone to visit Lebanon in the future...even if it is just for a day so you can drink Nescafe from a street vender on the Med and drink a Lebanese beer, smoke argila, and munch on maza in one of the cafes lining the cliffs!