7 must-eats in Jordan

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Influenced by the Arab food culture, Jordanian dishes consist of the finest meats, spices and delicious sweets and makes for a well-rounded dining experience that is not to be missed.

The Jordanian cuisine can be characterized as unexpected, sensational or plain genius. When mixing quality spices, fresh ingredients and a rich food culture you can expect nothing less than a mouth-watering selection on the menu. Ready yourself for a palatial exploration on a new level when eating your way through our list of the seven must-eats when in Aqaba, Jordan.

1. Hummus

We’ll start out with something you’ve probably already heard of. That is a dish that works well on its own but is best served as a side or base for many other favorite eats. Hummus has been adopted into the Western cuisine, but we dare say that store-bought is not the same as the real homemade experience. The thick spread is made from chickpeas, sesame seeds, olive oil, lemon and garlic and is served with plentiful Jordanian bread. Not only does it taste fantastic but it’s actually very good for you.

2. Falafel

Light and fluffy pita bread cradling the falafel, hummus and vegetable relish makes for the perfect quick and tasty dinner or lunch sandwich. When in Jordan, you’ll find an abundance of places to buy falafel and many of them will happily give you a free sample or two before buying. The keywords here are soft and fluffy, not fried and crunchy.

3. Shawarma

Don’t squint, this is the Jordanian kebab. Try the lamb, chicken or beef shawarma served as either a sandwich or in a pita bread. With a side of tasty fries and local spices, hummus and tahini you’ll see why so many appreciate and prefer the “real” Arab kebab. If you’re super hungry you should opt for the cheese shawarma, a fantastic experience sure to leave you in a food coma for hours.

4. Mansaf

When in Jordan, do as Jordanians do and taste their national dish Mansaf. This traditional Bedouin meal is saved for special occasions. It is made by cooking lamb with herbs in jameed (dried yoghurt) and is served with rice and pine. Alternatively, if there is no such special occasion when visiting, you’ll be able to taste the similar dish called Zarb, which is also a Bedouin lamb meal cooked in an underground mud oven.

5. Foul

This is something you should be familiarized with as it can be a breakfast, snack and a side dish to compliment almost every meal. In addition to great taste, this is also healthy, so ready your spoon. The main ingredient is fava beans. These are mixed with olive oil, green peppers, salt, garlic and lemon and go perfectly together with bread and hummus.

6. Kanafeh

And now, desserts! The Arabian and Jordanian cuisines are characterized by the sweets that are usually either part of the meal itself or a happy surprise after the main course. The Kanafeh is a heavenly, sweet cheese pastry soaked in sugar syrup with a crunchy topping. Yes, you may read that again. There are three different and delicious types of this rich, mouthwatering dessert and you should try to taste them all.

7. Harissa

A gooey, dense and heavy heavenly cake that is a definite must-eat. Even though this is a very sweet dessert, it still tastes fantastic as the sweet flavor come from honey rather than sugar. Semolina flour is drenched in honey, butter, yoghurt and almonds making it the definition of yum!

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