Tunisia is located in northern Africa, and is home to an incredible cuisine that showcases the many influences from the Mediterranean, French, Arab, and Berber foods that have all become enmeshed to create what we know as Tunisian cuisine today. The country’s food traces its history and fuses together flavors that come together to create a delicious and unique cuisine that’s full of color and spice. Here are some delicious traditional dishes that you may or may not heard of but you absolutely must try at least once if you’re visiting this beautiful country.
Of course, there’s no talking about Tunisian food without first mentioning couscous. It’s considered to be the country’s national dish, and it serves as a base for many other delicious components like vegetables and stews. The couscous itself is made of steamed semolina granules and is later seasoned, typically with cumin, harissa, and other delicious flavorings, and served as a comforting, filling dish.
When it comes to street food in Tunisia, Brik is one of the most satisfying options if you’re looking for something crunchy. It is made of a crispy dough that’s stuffed with a mix of tuna, capers, eggs, and parsley. It’s all deep fried and served hot, giving you a perfect bite of crispy dough with warm, delightfully salty filling. It is really is quite irresistible and we won’t blame you for eating more than one.
Harissa is a spicy chili paste that gives heart to North African cuisine, and that of course includes Tunisia. Harissa paste is made with red chilies, olive oil, garlic, and spices, and it adds a fiery kick to any dish that’s added. It can be used as a condiment or added directly into dishes to enhance the flavors of meat, stews, vegetables, and anything in between.
Mechoui consists of an entire roasted lamb that’s spiced with cumin and coriander and cooked on an open fire. The final dish results in a juicy, soft meat that has a smoky flavor. This dish is often made for special occasions and shared with friends and family, as is customary in Tunisian hospitality.
Lablabi is a hearty chickpea stew that’s so comforting and very filling. It is made with chickpeas that are cooked in a delicious flavorful broth that consists of olive oil, garlic, cumin, and harissa. Lablabi is served with a garnish of capers, olive oil, and a hard boiled egg.
For a sweet finish, you can enjoy a delicious Tunisian treat called Makroudh. It is a pastry that’s made with semolina dough that’s filled with dates and nut paste that’s then deep fried and dipped in a honey syrup. It’s a delicious combination of sweet, nutty, and crisp that’s a wonderful ending to any meal or a great pick me up snack.