Though not a universal truth, many Tunisian dishes are spicy. The cuisine in Tunisia is a mixture of Mediterranean cuisine and that of desert dwellers.

Like in the rest of North Africa, couscous is served on all occasions. It is traditionally eaten with lamb, the semolina must be very fine, and the vegetables (carrots, little white cabbages, turnips, chick peas) only lightly cooked. Depending on the season, the vegetables change: there may also be cardoons, cold broad beans, or pumpkin.

In some ways, food is something of a tourist trap in countries. Visiting any region often prompts questions about the local cuisine – with each and every location having its own traditional dishes that usually get mouths watering.

Substituting orzo, rice, Israeli couscous or barley for fine-grain couscous is not acceptable. In some regions, a medium-grain couscous is seldom used.

Closer to the Atlas mountain range, game is favoured. A diet may be composed of quail, pigeons, squabs, partridge, rabbits and hare. In the Cap Bon, people enjoy tuna, anchovies, sardines, sea bass and mackerels. On the island of Djerba, where there is a dense Maghrebim population, only Kosher foodstuffs are consumed. In Hammammet, snails are enjoyed. Organs are traditionally staples of Tunisian cooking, such as tripe, lamb brains, beef liver and fish heads.

Brik is one of the most common appetizers served in Tunisia.These are essentially fried triangle pastries filled with olive oil, parley, egg and tuna and often served with lemon to be squeezed on top. This is often a favorite appetizer among tourists.

The ingredients are often mixed in a mortar and dried beneath the rays of the sun. Beef, veal and game are the most common dishes to be flavoured using tabil.

Like all countries in the Mediterranean basin, Tunisia offers a "sun cuisine," based mainly on olive oil, spices, tomatoes, seafood (a wide range of fish) and meat from rearing (lamb).

Harissa is a very common Tunisian appetizer, and will often be found as a part of every meal. The dish is a compote made of garlic, cumin, olive oil and dried chilli peppers.

This is a dish which will usually be consumed in the summer and is largely comprised of tomatoes and peppers.

The most common type of ojja is made with small sausages, but variations include lamb, beef or seafood. In some places, vegetarian ojja can be ordered.

Tunisia has different regional aspects. Tunisian cuisine varies from north to south, from the coast to the Atlas Mountains, from urban areas to the countryside, and along religious affiliations.

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Not a requirement, but waiters and taxi drivers are usually tipped a few coins; waiters in tourist restaurants are accustomed to 10%.

oh forgot to say thats a stuffed sheep’s stomach on the left in the table photo. and the couscous turned out to be SOOO hot that neither of us, and he’s Tunisian, could finish more than half. my nose ran for an hour.

Many restaurants serve it as a dip for bread, and it is often free and each restaurant or family has their own harissa recipe. One common variation of Harissa involves sprinkling tuna on top of the dish.

The openness to trade and tourism also brought international cuisines, like the Chinese, Indian, Japanese cuisine, or fast-food. Moreover, the intensification of commercial exchanges with Europe and the rest of the world, makes available products until then, unknown or unusual.

Tunisian meals are typically family style meals, usually lasting very long periods of time with numerous amounts of guests. Dinner usually proceeds with generous servings of appetizers including various soups, vegetables and salads. The main entree is usually a dish consisting of couscous, a variety of meats, and an assortment of vegetables. To complete the meal, Tunisians will usually enjoy coffee, tea, fruits, and pastries.

When ordering a fish, make sure that it is fresh – cloudy eyes indicate that the fish is not fresh. The best flavor comes with the freshest fish.

Additionally, depending on who is preparing the dish, you can have it served either mild or hot – with the pepper dictating this.

Makroudh has a date filling. Balkawa, also known as Baklava in Greece, is filled with chopped nuts.

Most Tunisian Salad’s will have olive oil and lemon added on top.  

The best couscous is served in private homes on Sunday.

One of the main reasons behind its fame is because few people will cook it themselves, for the simple reason that they won’t have the equipment that is necessary.

1) Fruit: Tunisian desserts are as varied as they come. The most common dessert is a simple plate of fresh seasonal fruit that serves as a refreshing palette cleanser. It is light, sweet and delicious. Both private homes and restaurants will most likely serve a plate of fruit is included in the dinner.

We hope that this guide will encourage you to get out there and sample the best that Tunisia has to offer. Keep in mind that there are many more dishes found in the cuisine than found in this guide. When it comes to food, it’s important to keep an open mind and open mouth!

Tunisian food combines Arabic, Berber, European and Middle Eastern elements. Dishes are cooked with olive oil, spiced with aniseed, coriander, cumin, caraway, cinnamon or saffron and flavoured with mint, orange blossom or rose water; many are accompanied by harissa, a spicy chilli and garlic condiment.

Cuisine Of Tunisia

Tunisian Tajine can be described as a casserole, with lamb usually the main ingredient. As well as this, the likes of egg, coriander and cinnamon are used to make some people suggest that the dish resembles an Italian frittata.

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Meats, vegetables and spices are cooked in the lower pot. Cooking steam rises through vents into the container above. It is layered with whole herbs such as bay leaves and covered with a fine-grain couscous. The couscous pasta is therefore cooked with aromatic steam. During the cooking process, the couscous needs to be regularly stirred with a fork to prevent lumping, as risotto is cooked.

Additionally, there is plenty of variety when it comes to the spices, with different regions of the country opting for different ones. For example, some might prefer dried and crushed rose buds, while others will turn to a spice like cinnamon.

Fruit is heavily consumed in Tunisia as a dessert but there are a variety of honey, nut and pastry sweets that are also considered Tunisian traditional deserts.

Finally, some of the most typical Tunisian dishes will only be found if visitors are lucky enough to have some Tunisian friends who will make them. These include melthouth, which is grilled barley served with meat or fish, mloukhia, veal stew with powdered corete which makes a delicious unusual dark green sauce.

Two Tunisian sauces deserve mentioning: the Kerkennaise sauce and the Mloukhia. The first is made of capers, olive oil, tomato, scallions, coriander, caraway, cumin, parsley, garlic, white vinegar and paprika. The later is a dark green sauce served with shredded lamb or beef.

It might be a drawn-out process, but the end result is that Khobz Tabouna is not only a famous dish, but a particularly delicious one.

Tunisian couscous is made of finer grains than many other forms of couscous and often harissa is added. It is commonly served with various meats, peppers, chick peas, potatoes and carrots. The most common meat is lamb, but some restaurants and dishes use chicken or fish.

The final round of ingredients usually come in the form of bread and potato, with either of these used to thicken the dish.

For a quick overview of Tunisian culinary ingredients, here is a short list of typical elements:

Ojja is a spicy stew made of meat, olive oil, garlic, peppers, tomatoes, harissa and egg. It is often served in fast food restaurants, normally in a double serving meant for two people.

Some chefs might also turn to the likes of beans, egg and tuna to add an extra dimension to it, but the main aim is to just emphasize freshness through the ingredients.