Tunisia – Tunisian Cuisine
Nothing close to the Mediterranean or French influences can not hide the true character, rough and wild as Berber spirit, the Tunisian cuisine. Loved by exotic food and spicy amateurs or avoided by the majority of western tourists, Tunisian cuisine reminds you everywhere that you are in North Africa, in a deeply Muslim country.
There is a difference between daily Tunisia, of Tunisians and cosmopolitan Tunisia, of tourists. In the first, the Tunisians will find a real kitchen, with many couscous, with dishes made from fish, meat stews of lamb, combined with fruit and flavored with cinnamon and coriander.
In the second kitchen was imported and adapted all the necessary comfort and diversity required by tourists. It was tamed and Westernized. Menus include continental breakfast and very often you will find menus in English that you can refer when you are ordering.
But, in either world you are, surely you will get a taste of harissa. This sauce, red and extremely hot, made of crushed pepper, garlic, coriander seeds and cumin, olive oil and, more rarely, with the addition of tomato juice is very “blood” Tunisian cuisine. The Tunisian cuisine, mostly fast compared to other North African cuisines, is found in almost any food taste components defining the Tunisian. In restaurants, hotels, however, is served with meals.
The national dish of Tunisia is couscous, traditionally cooked in a special vessel of Berber origin who is called kiska. Couscous is the sort of stew that uses a healthy lamb, chicken or fish mixed with vegetables in abundance, all on a bed of couscous (a type of pasta from durum wheat granules).
Being a Muslim country, you will find very hard pork and alcohol. In turistic places (hotels and restaurants), especially for places that offer all-inclusive packages, find local drinks (whiskey, gin, vodka), which are much cheaper than those imported. Celtic beer is a light beer and very popular at resorts and hotels. Tunisian wine is considered very good, the red varieties (Sidi Saad or Magon), la rose (Gris de Tunis, Koudiat) and whites (Muscat Kelibia). A popular cocktail is boukha (a fig liqueur) mixed with cola.
At main foods, try, besides couscous and fish (perch, sardines) or shellfish (lobster, squid, shrimp) grilled for that near the Mediterranean menus filled with goodies. Koucha bil aallouch (lamb with baked potatoes), chakchouka (a vegetable stew with egg), kaftagi (spicy meat balls) or bnadaq (meatballs with mint) are examples of Tunisian popular dishes by tourists.