After living in Europe for a while, I quite forgot how Mediterranean food – particularly Lebanese food – tasted like. I remember missing it, I remember liking it, but I forgot what made the Lebanese kitchen so special.
My trip to Lebanon and particularly to Tanous – a restaurant located in the western Mountains of Lebanon – was able to jog my memory. It was Tanous’ rich and exquisite menu that made me realize again how healthy and how complete Lebanese diet is. The meal usually starts with Mezza, which is variety of several delicious entrees that range between vegetarian and non vegetarian recipes – some even exclusively found at Tanous’ mountain refuge. Stuffed grape leaves (Wara’ Aarish), Tanous’ potato mix, Fattoush, Tabboule (Lebanese Salads) and Hummus are followed by a delicious set of Mashewe – Lebanese-art meat skewers which we didn’t have that day, because well…we were full enough but eventually not full enough for desert that included one of my favorite Tanous specialties: “Zlebye w Debbes”.
The beauty of this diet is that it is complete: it gives you the exactly needed portions of protein, carbs, fibers and vitamin thanks to a variety of land-grown products. Eating Lebanese food is a diet itself. Complete healthy foods that protects against diabetes, prevents heart disease and strokes, boosts agility, reduces risk of Alzheimer and increases longevity.
The best part of this cuisine and in particularly at Tanous is that the chefs have transcendent the Lebanese cuisine to a new level they use prime ingredients and prepare everything on-the-spot .. no pre-prep something that causes a relative delay compared to other Lebanese cuisines … but it elevates the quality of food and augments the tastes all ingredients are locally grown – “Baladi & Taza” (Local & fresh). The Lebanese landscape is a great plus for Tanous; it allows agricultural production to provide a rich set of ingredients that create wonderful complex recipes with an explosive mouth watering taste.
However, why should we diet Mediterranean or Lebanese at all?
Simply because Lebanese food is the most balanced Mediterranean cuisine that offers a good between healthy and tasty…really tasty if you happen to drop Tanous a visit! Just ask for the Tanous specialties, Ras 3asfour sauce pesto and Ham-bourghoul Sili2 Tanous…you will not be disappointed. The Batata Harrah (Potatos with smoked paprika and garlic paste), chocolate lazy cake, the mud cake with a dash of “fleur de Sel” (salt flower) and the fluffy light Zlebye (Lebanese dessert) are all not to miss.