Known across the Middle East and North Africa, Syrian cuisine is widely recognized as one of the most elaborate, sophisticated, diverse, and expansive traditions in the region at large if not globally. Dating back at least to the 13th century, the cities of Damascus and Aleppo--two of the oldest and longest inhabited metropolises in the world--have been culinary capitals where travelers came from far and wide to hone their skills in the arts and sciences of perfecting a meal. Being a geographic crossroad between Europe, central Asia, Arabia, North Africa, South Asia, the Levant, and Mesopotamia (which Syria a part of) ensured that so many varying food traditions made their way through and left their mark. It was also on the merchant pathway of the silk road which brought with it unique spices and herbs, which explains the vast range of flavours that are characteristic of Syrian food today.
Another reason for Syrian cuisine's extraordinary brilliance is the unique combination of topography, landscape, and climates in the country. Whether it's lush forest, fertile valleys, snow-capped mountains or arid deserts, Syria is home to so many different agricultural environments that make it arable for a wide range of different crops. For hundreds of years, the Syrian countryside has been self-sufficient with produce that has enriched the cuisine with seasonal varieties and so many experimental options for vegetables and herbs. From eggplant, zucchini, molokhia, and chard to sour cherries, apples, mulberry, and figs, Syria's soil yields some of the most extraordinary vegetables and fruits across the region.
Most meals in Syria are served to be eaten with large groups--whether with family, friends, or colleagues--over a long period of time. With so many courses of appetizers, mains and desserts, eating is a culinary adventure more so than a rapid meal consumed in haste. The typical family dinner at home or at a restaurant will feature so many delicious cold and hot mezzes, including a wide range of traditional salads and dips, even before the mains are served! In addition to the generosity of the cuisine, the difficult and elaborate process involved in preparing the many dishes is a testament to the cuisine's mastery.
One of the most terrific things about Syrian cuisine is the freshness of the ingredients and the healthy choices for all occasions. Many of the country's most popular dishes are entirely vegan or have vegan variations. From salads to stuffed vegetables to varieties in dips and spreads that use chickpeas, beets, eggplant, zucchini and carrots to name a few, there is an abundance of choices for all preferences and dietary restrictions. Whether dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free or vegan, Syrian cuisine in its
At Tayybeh, all the food is prepared by Syrian women chefs who hail from different parts of the country. They were all taught by family members whose recipes are their families' heirloom and passed down for generations. Whether they hail from Aleppo, Damascus, Latakia, or Hama, our chefs bring their regional sophistication and sensibility to the cooking, each adding her own unique touch to these celebrated traditional recipes.
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