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Palestinian National Authority Food and Drink

The Palestinians boast a surprising amount of variety in their cuisine, given their country’s small size. In the Galilee area, a closeness with Lebanese cuisine predominates, with stodgy meat dishes and plenty of the bulgur cereal.

In the West Bank, there are lots of meat, rice and vegetable dishes involving taboon, a regional flatbread cooked in a special tubular oven. In Gaza, there's a taste for fresh seafood fished out of the Mediterranean, as well as an abundance of chillies and spices.

Throughout the territories, skewered meat, shish kebab, hummus and baba ghanoush are popular. You'll also find subtle influences from the immigrants who have settled over the centuries, with French, Italian and Balkan touches appearing in restaurants. Typical Palestinian main courses are meat heavy and generously sized.

Specialities

Musahkan: Casserole made with chicken, bread, spices and vegetables.
Knafeh and baklaweh: Succulent, sweet pastries.
Mansat: Lamp chops and rice with a warm yoghurt sauce topped with browned almonds.
Mtabel: Mashed aubergine, tahini, onion and lemon juice.
Mansaf: Traditional regional dish involving leg of lamb atop taboon, covered with yellow rice and with a goat's milk sauce poured on top.
Sumaghiyyeh: Ground sumac mixed with tahini, plus stewed beef and chickpeas.
Maqluba: Rice, meat and vegetables cooked in a pot and then served 'upside down' (the definition of maqluba).
Kubbineyee: Raw meat mixed with bulgur and spices, usually eaten with pita bread.
Hummus: ground chickpeas.
Taybeh: The only beer brewed in Palestine.

Tipping

The typical tipping amount in a restaurant is 10%.

Drinking age

18