How Lebanese culture has made its mark in restaurants around Sydney’s CBD
If you haven’t already tried Lebanese food, then you’re certainly missing out on a unique experience.
Australia is home to many different cultures which makes us spoiled with choice when it comes to choosing a cuisine we’d like to indulge in.
Lebanese food has made its way into restaurants in Sydney CBD, not only bringing amazing flavour and cuisine rather teaching others about their traditions, culture, and customs. This beautiful culture is now loved by many.
To help gain a better understanding of Lebanese culture and tradition, it is beneficial to understand their customs, history, and geography.
Lebanon is a country part of the Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea between Israel and Syria. The culture is made up of unique customs, etiquette, food, and dance which has now made its way into Sydney.
Lebanese people migrated into Australia in different phases, the first, occurring from 1880-1947 where many Maronite and Orthodox Christians settled in. After many years of living in the country, the Lebanese people thought it was time to bring what they have to offer to restaurants into Sydney CBD.
Lebanese history and food have made it into restaurants in Sydney’s CBD
How has Lebanese food developed over the years?
Learning about their rich history and difficult phases helps us grasp a better understanding of how these customs and traditions were formed.
From the years between 1516 to 1918 the Ottoman Empire had a major influence on Lebanon including control on what they ate. This influence has had an impact on how the Lebanese cuisine has developed and where many of their staples came from.
Although Lebanon was under the influence of the Ottoman Empire for a long time, after proclaiming independence they brought along many of their own traditions into the cuisine.
Religious customs have also had a tremendous influence on the way meals are prepared, served and enjoyed. Lebanon has two main religions, these being Christianity and Islam. These religions hold particular holidays and holy days where food is at the centre of it all.
Friends, family, and feasts explain how these holidays are celebrated!
A key occasion for the Muslim people is Ramadan. This holiday requires Muslims to fast between sunrise and sunset. To celebrate the end of the Ramadan period, a large feast is prepared where family and friends come together and enjoy each others company.
The two main feast days in the Christian calendar include Christmas and Easter.
These two holidays are celebrated with specific traditions and food. Easter is usually celebrated with a traditional lamb dinner followed by ma’moul, a cookie filled with dates and ka’ak, which are delicious sweetbread cookies.
Many of these religious customs have had an impact on Lebanese cuisine today and is celebrated widely in Sydney, brought to many restaurants in the CBD.
How Lebanese restaurants in Sydney CBD incorporate Lebanese mealtime customs
Not only do Lebanese people have unique food, but they are home to a range of mealtime customs, highlighting their rich culture. When indulging in a Lebanese feast, food is always in abundance.
So be prepared, and make sure you are hungry when you visit a Lebanese restaurant in Sydney’s CBD.
Mezze is central to a Lebanese feast. This usually includes a variety of appetisers including dips, olives, cheese and salads. We recommend that you don’t fill up on Mezze when visiting a Lebanese restaurant in Sydney CBD.
How can you say no to a table full of colourful creations?
Yes, we understand the struggle but it doesn’t end at Mezze, there is an even more delicious main meal following, including dishes such as Kibbeh and Kefta as well as decadent desserts such as Baklava.
Hopefully, you’ve gained a better understanding of the traditions and history surrounding Lebanese food. Indulging in Lebanese food is not only delicious but is an experience.