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Syrian cuisine

Syrian cuisine is a diffusion of the cultures of civilizations that settled in Syria, particularly during and after the Islamic era beginning with the Arab Umayyad conquest, then the eventual Persian-influenced Abbasids and ending with the strong influences of Turkish cuisine, resulting from the coming of the Ottoman Turks. It is in many ways similar to other (Greater Syria) Levantine cuisines, mainly Lebanese, Palestinian, Jordanian and Iraqi. Syrian cuisine includes dishes like kibbeh, kebab halabi, waraq `inab, hummus, tabbouleh, fattoush, labneh, shawarma, mujaddara, shanklish, bastirma, sujuk and baklava. Syrians often serve selections of appetizers, known as “meze”, before the main course, and za`atar, minced beef, and cheese manaqish as hors d’oeuvres. Arabic flat bread is always eaten together with meze. Syrians also make cookies called “ka`ak”, to usually accompany their cheese. These are made of farina and other ingredients, rolled out, shaped into rings and baked. Another form of a similar cookie is to fill with crushed dates mixed with butter to eat with their jibbneh mashallale, a string cheese made of curd cheese pulled and twisted together. A spice mixture called “baharat mushakalah” is endemic to Syrian cuisine.