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Libyan Food

Libyan restaurants do not have a good reputation; better food can be found in people’s houses. Libyan cuisine is a mosaic of historical influences: Mediterranean, Turkish, Muslim Spanish, and North African influences were supplemented by European cuisine in the colonial period: Turkish coffee is offered alongside North African mint tea and Italian espresso and cappuccino.

Among local dishes are couscous and tagine in many variants, osban (sheep’s stomach stuffed with rice, herbs, liver, and kidneys), lamb stews, grilled meats, shorba Arabiya (spicy Libyan soup with mint), bureek (stuffed filo pastry snacks), and stuffed vine leaves, eggplant, and other vegetables. Typical breakfast dishes are zummita (roasted wheat flour with cumin) and bsisa (various ground roasted grains, chickpeas, and fenugreek seeds mixed with oil into a peanut-butter-like consistency).

Pasta was added to the Libyan menu during the Italian domination. The most delicious is handmade pasta from water and flour. The Libyans eat lentils, chickpeas, spicy herbs, and vegetables. Libyans also have an extensive tradition of making lusa and harissa, Libyan spiced peppers, which are used to season dishes.

Food market in Libya
Food market in Libya
Fish market
Fish market
Couscous
Couscous
Bazin with fish
Bazin with fish
Bazin with yoghurt
Bazin with yoghurt
Traditional Libyan black tea
Traditional Libyan black tea

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