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Culinary Traditions in Tunisia

Darth Vader

If you're in the mood for exotic dishes, Tunisia is a suitable culinary destination. The cuisine there combines influences from the Arab world, Near East, Mediterranean and France.

The citizens of the Muslim nation are known for their hospitality, so if you see orange, olive or lemon plantations, you can pick fruits without a problem. But first you must ask the nearby guard for permission - this is considered a sign of respect toward people's labor.

It is custom for all dishes in Tunisia to be served with the traditional Harissa sauce, which consists of red peppers, garlic, olive oil and parsley. Harissa is not put directly in the dishes - 1 tsp is diluted with a little broth from the boiling and is left in a bowl on the table, where everyone can add some according to their taste.

Since Tunisia is a Muslim country, pork is absent from its cuisine but there is an abundance of lamb, sheep, goat, veal, bird meat and various types of fish. The only product consisting of chopped meat is kebab. In all other dishes, the meat is prepared in portions, such as roasting on a spit or in a special oven.


Tunisia's seas have an abundance of different fish - tuna, bream, sardines, flathead grey mullet, sea bass and others. Tuna fish is the most popular. Tunisian brik pastries, filled with tuna, egg, onions, capers and parsley are also highly revered in Tunisia. Salmon, shrimp, mussels and other molluscs are more expensive. The garnishes in the exotic country are made from legumes, rice, vegetables and fruits in various combinations. Feta cheese is the only one among dairy products that is widespread. Among the favored national dishes is couscous, served with meat, fish or vegetables. Another specialty is tajine.

A remarkable salad that you can try in Tunisia is mechouia - ember roasted tomatoes, peppers, onions and garlic that are ground to a puree. They are then sprinkled with oil and black pepper. The ready salad is then garnished with a paste of tuna and boiled eggs.

Traditional dishes are usually made with veal, goat and beef meats, while soups use veggies, veal or lamb. Shakshouka is a popular Tunisian ragout. Its main competition is merguez - lamb on skewers.



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