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Spice Up Your Senses: A Jordan Food Odyssey

Dec 21

Introduction to Jordanian cuisine and its unique flavours

Welcome to Jordan, a country known for its rich culture and history. One of the most fascinating aspects of Jordan is its cuisine. Jordanian food is a unique blend of Arabic, Mediterranean and Levant flavours. Its neighbouring countries, such as Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria, heavily influence the cuisine. Therefore, it has a distinctive taste that will leave you craving for more.

Jordanian cuisine offers a wide variety of dishes that can satiate any palate. From appetizers to entrées, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Here are some of the most popular dishes in Jordanian cuisine:

  • Mansaf - Jordan's national dish, made with lamb cooked in fermented, dried yoghurt and served with rice and a sprinkle of almonds, is a dish that is full of flavour and traditionally served on special occasions.
  • Fattoush - A refreshing salad made with vegetables that are in season, such as cucumbers, tomatoes, onions and peppers. The salad is tossed with pomegranate molasses and topped with crispy chunks of Arabic bread. It's an excellent way to start your meal.
  • Kofta - Ground beef or lamb shaped into meatballs or patties and grilled on skewers. It's served hot off the grill with pita bread, rice, and tahini sauce. A delicious and protein-filled dish.
  • Maqluba - A one-pot meal consisting of rice, vegetables, and meat flipped upside down before serving. The result is a beautiful presentation of flavorful rice, meat, and vegetable layers.

Jordanian cuisine is a perfect example of how food can unite people, as meals are often shared with family and friends. Whether you are a foodie or want to try something new, Jordanian cuisine is a must-try experience.



Food tour in Amman: local delicacies and street food

Amman is the perfect place for a culinary adventure if you're a foodie. Take a food tour to try out local delicacies and street food. You will be amazed by the unique flavours and spices that Jordan has to offer. Some of Amman's most popular street foods include falafel, shawarma, and manakish.

Falafel is a deep-fried ball or patty made from ground chickpeas or fava beans. It is usually served in a pita bread sandwich with hummus, tomatoes, onions, and tahini sauce. Shawarma is a tasty filling wrap made of spit-roasted meat (usually chicken or beef), pickled vegetables, and various sauces. Manakish is another popular street food similar to pizza but with a distinct Jordanian twist. It's made with a flavoured dough base, typically topped with cheese, za'atar (a herb blend), or minced meat.

Traditional Jordanian breakfast options in Amman

Breakfast is the day's most important meal, and Jordanians know how to start your day right. One of Jordan's most popular traditional breakfast dishes is ful medames, made with fava beans, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil. Another must-try breakfast dish is moutabbal, a roasted eggplant puree mixed with tahini, olive oil, and lemon juice.

Jordanians also love their bread; you will find various tasty options to accompany your breakfast. Khubz, a thin Arabic flatbread, is a staple in every Jordanian meal. Another bread popular for breakfast is shrak, a soft, thin bread usually served with za'atar, cheese, or honey.

Amman offers a diverse range of food options that cater to all tastes and preferences. From traditional breakfast options to street food, Jordanian cuisine has much to offer. So, grab your appetite and head out on a food tour to explore the world of flavours that Amman has to offer.



Petra food tour: Bedouin cuisine and authentic regional dishes

Petra is a must-visit destination for you if you're a food lover. The city offers many delicious traditional dishes that can be explored through a food tour. Bedouin cuisine is one of the highlights of Petra's culinary scene, and a food tour will give you a chance to savour these authentic flavours. Some of the most popular dishes include mansaf, maqluba, and zarb.

Mansaf is Jordan's national dish with lamb cooked in a creamy fermented, dried yoghurt sauce. It is usually served on a bed of rice and garnished with almonds and pine nuts. Maqluba is a rice and meat dish cooked with tomatoes, onions, and spices, then inverted onto a plate for serving. Zarb is a Bedouin speciality cooked underground; it consists of meat, chicken, fish, vegetables, and spices.

Jordanian tea and coffee culture in Petra

Jordanian tea and coffee culture is also a unique aspect of Petra's culinary heritage. Bedouin tea is a must-try experience for every visitor to the city. It’s served hot, sweetened with sugar and flavoured with fresh mint leaves. Arabic coffee is another beverage that Jordanians take pride in. Made with roasted coffee beans, it is rich, strong and often complemented with cardamom pods or other spices.

If you want to explore Petra's food scene, a food tour will give you the perfect opportunity to discover the unique flavours of Bedouin cuisine and traditional dishes. Moreover, experiencing Jordanian tea and coffee culture is an excellent way to connect with locals and understand their traditions. So, book your tour and indulge in Petra’s culinary delights.



Fresh seafood in Aqaba: grilled fish and shrimp with traditional dips

If you're a seafood enthusiast, Aqaba is a destination you shouldn't miss during your trip to Jordan. Aqaba is located on the Red Sea and has a wide variety of fresh seafood. One of the best ways to experience this seafood is by trying a grilled fish or shrimp dish with traditional dips.

Aqaba's most famous traditional dip is tarator, made with ground sesame seeds, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil. It is a perfect complement to grilled fish. Another dip to try is the spicy shatta, made from red peppers, garlic, and lemon. It is an excellent addition to grilled shrimp and will kick your taste buds.

Jordanian sweets and desserts in Aqaba

Jordanian sweets and desserts are a unique aspect of the country's culinary culture. In Aqaba, you can discover a variety of treats such as baklava, knafeh, and hareeseh. Baklava is a sweet pastry filled with nuts and honey syrup, while knafeh is a cheese pastry soaked in sweet syrup. Hareeseh is a traditional Jordanian semolina cake often served with melted butter and syrup.

Aqaba offers a culinary experience that satisfies seafood and dessert lovers. The city's fresh seafood combined with traditional dips and the unique flavours of Jordanian sweets and desserts are something that one should try during their visit to Jordan. Don't miss out on the chance to indulge in Aqaba's culinary delights and experience the traditional flavours of Jordan.


Wadi Rum

Bedouin hospitality: experience a traditional feast in the desert

If planning a trip to Jordan, include Wadi Rum on your itinerary. This desert landscape offers stunning views and is home to the Bedouin people known for their warm hospitality. Experience this hospitality by joining a traditional Bedouin feast in the desert.

The Bedouin feast usually includes a variety of dishes such as rice, meat, and vegetables. The food is traditionally cooked over an open fire, giving it a unique flavor. You'll also be served traditional Bedouin tea, which is made with sage and has a refreshing taste. During the feast, you can relax while enjoying the amazing surroundings and the Bedouin's company.

Jordanian spices and herbs used in Bedouin cooking

The Bedouin people use a variety of spices and herbs in their cooking, which gives their dishes a special flavour. One of the most commonly used spices is za'atar, a mix of thyme, sumac, and sesame seeds. It is used on bread, meat, and even in tea. Another frequently used spice is cumin, added to meat dishes to give them a rich flavour.

The Bedouins also use a lot of fresh herbs such as mint, parsley, and cilantro. These herbs are used to make salads and also added to meat dishes. A popular herb used in tea is sage, which is known for its calming properties.

In Wadi Rum, you'll not only enjoy the stunning scenery but also experience the Bedouin's warm hospitality and unique cuisine. Don't miss the chance to try the traditional Bedouin feast and taste the delicious flavours of Jordanian spices and herbs.



Madaba food tour: falafel and hummus, ka'ak and Arabic sweets

If you're a foodie, you'll love Madaba, Jordan's "City of Mosaics." This city is famous for its delicious food and vibrant food markets. Take a food tour and try the city's most popular dishes, including falafel and hummus. These dishes are made with fresh local ingredients and will leave you wanting more.

Another popular dish in Madaba is ka'ak, a sesame-seed-covered bread served warm and perfect for breakfast or as a snack. Be sure also to try the Arabic sweets made with honey, nuts, and phyllo dough. They're the perfect way to end your meal.

Jordanian wine and beer scene in Madaba

Jordan might not be known for its wine and beer, but that doesn't mean there isn't a scene worth exploring. Madaba has some great wineries and breweries offering tastings and tours.

The Saint George Winery is one of the top wineries in the country and is located just outside Madaba. Their wines are made from locally grown grapes and have won many awards. The Carakale Brewery, located in the heart of Madaba, is known for its craft beers and offers tastings and tours.

In Madaba, you'll enjoy the delicious food and discover a new side to Jordan's beverage scene. Don't miss the chance to try the local wine and beer and experience the city's unique food and drink culture.



Jerash cuisine: lamb kebabs, musakhan, and mansaf

You're in for a treat in Jerash, Jordan. The city's cuisine is something to look out for. First on the list are lamb kebabs. These are grilled to perfection with a mix of spices that will satisfy your taste buds. Musakhan is another must-try dish that is made up of roasted chicken, onions, and sumac. It is served on top of bread that is freshly baked. Mansaf is another national dish comprising lamb cooked in yoghurt and served with saffron rice.

You can find these dishes sold in various food stalls along the streets of Jerash. Make sure to take a food tour to get a proper feel of the food scene and to discover where locals take their meals.

Jordanian olive oil and its importance in Jordanian cuisine

Jordanian olive oil is highly touted in the Middle East and across the globe. The oil is made from the finest olives sourced from the local farms in the country. Olive oil has been a crucial ingredient in Jordanian cuisine for centuries, as it's used in almost every dish.

The Jordanian olive oil has a unique flavour with hints of nuttiness, spiciness, and a bitter taste that comes from the optimal ripeness of the olives. The oil is rich in healthy fatty acids and antioxidants, making it a nutritious addition to any dish.

When in Jerash, invest in olive oil tasting tours and learn about the process of making olive oil from the local farmers. You might never return to regular oil for cooking after experiencing the taste of Jordanian olive oil.

There's so much to discover in Jerash, from the food to the traditions and the people's way of life. Don't miss the chance to infuse yourself in the city's culture and learn about the fascinating cuisine.


Discover the Best of Jerash

Try These Traditional Dishes in Jerash

Jerash is a foodie haven, and you're in for a treat with its traditional dishes. Take your taste buds on a journey and try these must-try dishes:

  • Lamb kebabs: Savor the grilled perfection of lamb kebabs seasoned with aromatic spices that will leave you craving more.
  • Musakhan: Satisfy your cravings with this flavorful roasted chicken dish served on top of freshly baked bread.
  • Mansaf: Experience the national dish of Jordan that's made with tender lamb, cooked in yoghurt and served with saffron rice.

To truly enjoy Jerash's food scene, join a food tour to the local food stalls, where you can find these dishes.

Discover the Benefits of Jordanian Olive Oil

Jordanian olive oil is a crucial ingredient in the cuisine, and it's not hard to understand why. The locally sourced olives make oil rich in healthy nutrients, making it a nutritious addition to any dish. 

Take a tour of an olive oil farm and learn about the production process from the local farmers. Taste the unique, nutty, and spicy flavours of Jordanian olive oil that make it different from any other oil you've tasted.

Recommendations for Dishes to Try and Restaurants to Visit

When in Jerash, make sure to try the following dishes and visit the restaurants mentioned below:

  • Dish recommendations: Lamb kebabs, musakhan, mansaf.
  • Restaurant recommendations: Sama'ani, Restaurant Kan Zaman, The Green Valley Restaurant.

Jerash is a fascinating city that has so much to offer. From the delicious local cuisine to the welcoming locals, a visit to Jerash is sure to be unforgettable. Make sure to add Jerash to your travel list and experience it for yourself.



Frequently asked questions about Jordanian cuisine and travelling in Jordan

  • Q: What is Mansaf?
  • A: Mansaf is the national dish of Jordan made with tender lamb, cooked in yoghurt, and served with saffron rice. It's a must-try dish when visiting Jordan.

  • Q: What makes Jordanian olive oil unique?
  • A: Jordanian olive oil is unique because it's made from locally sourced olives that create a nutty and spicy flavour, unlike any other oil.

  • Q: What are the best restaurants to visit in Jerash?
  • A: We recommend visiting Sama'ani, Restaurant Kan Zaman, and The Green Valley Restaurant for delicious local cuisine.

Jerash is a fascinating city with much to offer, from its delicious cuisine to welcoming locals. Add Jerash to your travel list and experience it for yourself.