Jordan Food and Drink
Jordanian cuisine shares many of the characteristics of Middle Eastern cooking but the inclusion of freshly made, local yoghurt and cheese adds a twist to the menu. Aubergines, chickpeas, lentils and beans turn up in many of the dishes and rice and khoubs (flat Arabic bread) are staples. Most restaurants have a mixed menu including Arabic and European dishes. Alcohol is served in most restaurants and bars, except during the fasting month of Ramadan (non-Muslim nationals can drink alcohol only in hotels during Ramadan).
• Meze: A selection of starters that pre-empt almost every main meal; they include fool (thick stew made with fava beans), hummus (mashed chickpeas with tahini or sesame paste), moutabel (smoked aubergine dip) and tabouleh (finely chopped parsley salad).
• Mensaf: Stewed lamb in a yoghurt sauce. As with most Bedouin dishes, it is normally eaten with the fingertips of the right hand.
• Makloubat: Chicken with spices, including cinnamon, allspice, cardamom and nutmeg.
• Kibbi: Often deep fried, this ground lamb or beef dish is combined with burghul (ground, steamed wheat), onion and cinnamon.
• Baklava: Assorted honey-drizzled, nut-filled pastries.
Generally, 10 to 12% service charge is added in hotels and restaurants; extra tips are discretionary.
Arabic coffee: Strong and served in small cups, it's more a tradition than a drink.
Wine: Thanks to the Christian minority, Jordan has a long tradition of wine-production.
Araq: This local liquor is similar to Greek Ouzo; usually served mixed with water and ice.