How to eat your own body weight

We’re going away this evening for our long-awaited weekend in Wadi Rum and Petra, so I thought I’d fit in a quick post before I go.
Most friends will know I have a surprisingly big appetite for someone who is about 5 feet tall, and I really love my food. We have been invited to lots of meals at Jordanian friends’ and colleagues’ houses, and there is always SO MUCH. It’s brilliant. Furthermore, your hosts will keep forcing (sorry, offering) food on you long after you feel it’s rude to eat such a large quantity.
Joking aside, people are incredibly generous here, and we’ve had some really fantastic meals. I am yet to try the national dish, mansaf, but here, ladies and gentlemen, is a little paean (love that word) to Jordanian food:
  • Maklouba: Literally, ‘upside-down’. This is rice, chicken, and cauliflower, and it is delicious. The recipe is online at http://www.legalnomads.com/2012/01/maklouba.html NB. For some reason, chicken is not considered a meat in Jordan. When choosing a stew in a restaurant last week, I was genuinely asked if I wanted ‘meat or chicken’ by the waiter.
  • Labneh: Kind of like yoghurt. This is amazing on anything. Lentils, rice, you name it, you can labneh it.
  • Humous: No explanation necessary. It’s just better here.
  • Stuffed vine leaves: My favourite. You really can’t go wrong with a stuffed vine leaf.
  • Stuffed aubergines: Ditto.
  • Tea/Coffee: Dinner is normally followed by chai tea or Turkish coffee in the garden, and many Jordanians will also smoke shisha.

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