Lebanese Food / Wine and Culinary Traditions

Lebanese Food / Wine and Culinary Traditions
Spring time always inspires me...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Local Lebanese Spices

This is the chef's spice box at Abdel Wahab, the restaurant where I got a training in Lebanon.

Lebanese spices are important to flavor our local dishes, but do you know exactly what they are? I went to visit a local spice merchant last week and discussed the local varieties with him.

In a nutshell here is a simple list:

1. white pepper
2. ginger
3. falafel mix
4. anis
5. 7-spices

6. red pepper powder (Indian)
7. red pepper powder (Aleppo)
8. black pepper
9. cloves
10. kebbeh mix
11. nutmeg
12. allspice (called sweet pepper in Arabic)
13. cinammon sticks
14. cumin
15. shawarma mix (chicken / meat)
16. caraway
17. sumac
18. zaatar
19. camounieh (Southern cumin mix)

Of course we use bay leaves, basil, and many other aromatic herbs too ... Now you must be wondering which spice for which recipe. This entails Lebanese cuisine 101, soon!

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