Food in Damascus

I feel that having the title that this blog does, I should speak some about the food here.  In short, it’s not very good, and the most stable dish you can order is Hummus.  At least in Damascus, there is very little seafood since the closest major port city is Latakia which is several hours away.  Most things here are chicken, similar to Cairo, with some lamb as well.  I have taken the mostly vegetarian route eating a lot of Fattouche- a sort of Sumac/Balsamic Vinaigrette summer salad.  While there is some worthwhile street food, it pales in comparison to what is on offer in Beirut.  It’s about the same thing, but it seems as though the Syrians don’t care as much about how their foods taste.  There are less sweets here too.  There are desserts on nearly every menu but usually fruit is eaten after a meal, most often Batikh- watermelon.

We drink a lot of water as it is always hot- as in Lebanon and Egypt, there are a few different bottled water brands all competing for people’s hearts.  None of them are particularly spectacular, they all kind of taste like water.

Usually for lunch or dinner, we just order a bunch of “appetizers” and dip our bread in them.  None individually would make a meal, but when you have a little bit of 10 things, it begins to add up.  And it’s much cheaper.  A bowl of hummus is about $1 whereas a chicken dish would be about $5- so you can get 5 bowls of stuff and it would be about the same price.

Here, as in Lebanon they have a drink called the “Polo” (I think they only use that name here) which is fresh lemon juice, sugar, and mint blended together.  It really hits the spot.

I think I’ll be in Lebanon next week, so I’ll have time to put some pictures up, hopefully.


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