Mansaf is the ultimate Jordanian food you should try: http://migrationology.com/mansaf-jordan/
Considered the national dish of Jordan, and a dish that nearly every Jordanian loves, you are bound to taste Jordan with every bite of mansaf you taste. This was my first time to ever try mansaf, and I was so happy and excited, it was incredible.
What is mansaf (منسف)?
Mansaf (منسف) is a Jordanian food that consists of three main things: rice, lamb, and jameed. The rice is often cooked with turmeric to give it a yellow color, and the lamb is cooked in jameed, and then more jameed is served on the side as a sauce for the rice and lamb. Finally, the lamb and rice is topped with a handful of fried nuts, either pine nuts or sliced almonds, and the full meal is then served with a variety of fresh vegetables like onions and arugula.
What is jameed (جميد)?
Jameed is a type of goat yoghurt that is dried and fermented and made into a hard ball shape. It’s traditionally prepared by Bedouins in the desert who preserve the goat milk by making it into jameed so that it lasts for a long time and can be used slowly. If you visit a Bedouin tent or village, you’ll often see balls of jameed resting on the roof of the tent, drying in the hot sun. For mansaf, the jameed is re-hydrated and made into a sauce, and it gives the unique signature taste and richness of the dish. I had my first taste of jameed, and it was amazing. You can really taste the goat and taste the pastures and grass and shrubs that the goats have eaten in every bite. It definitely has a bit of a meaty taste to eat.
Along with mansaf being an incredibly delicious food, one of the great things about it are all the traditions and customs that come along with eating it. It’s a typical food to eat at Jordanian festivals and celebrations. The mansaf is served on a big tray, and everyone stands around the tray, taking bites with their right hand. You pick up some rice with lamb, and douse it in jameed, then roll it into a ball shape in your palm, making sure there’s some lamb in the middle of the rice and that the entire mansaf ball is held together with jameed. One you have a ball ready, you drop it into your mouth, making sure you don’t touch your lips so that you don’t contaminate your fingers – then you repeat again. Once you are finished eating, you can then lick your fingers clean, and it’s acceptable, that’s pretty cool!
Tawaheen Al Tawa Restaurant – To eat mansaf in Amman, Jordan, we went to one of the most famous restaurants in the city, Tawaheen Al Tawa, a huge restaurant institution in Jordan. The restaurant serves all sorts of delicious Jordanian and Arabic foods, and they especially specialize in mansaf and bbq meats – we had the mansaf. Our tray came out, a pile of rice topped with a heap of lamb, and side bowls of jameed. The combination of the dish, and the method of eating it, made it one of the most memorable meals I ate when I was in Jordan. Price – About 10 – 15 JD ($14.06 – $21.09) per person
Read about my experience eating mansaf at Tawaheen Al Tawa Restaurant: http://migrationology.com/mansaf-jordan/
Amman Travel Guide: http://migrationology.com/travel-guides/amman-jordan/
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