Food & drinks
Palestinian cuisine is the one from the middle east, such as falafel or hummus.
Though they often eat chicken, we can taste pork in Christian communities (Bethlehem, Beit Jala etc). Palestinian pork is so much delicious, it’s a must!
Falafels are fried mashed chickpeas mixed with herbs. It’s not greasy, once you start to eat, you won’t be able to stop.
We often eat falafel as a sandwich with pita bread. The falafel sandwich is very cheap (from 5 NIS) but is enough big. It’s one of the handiest food.
Near the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, there is a falafel restaurant “Afteem” that local people speak highly of.
Makloubeh is cooked rice with spices. It means “turning upside down” in Arabic.
After rice is cooked, they turn the hot pot upside down into a big dish, then put a grilled chicken on it. This is also one of the hospitable dishes.
Palestinian people love to eat it with yogurt.
Marmahon is a sort of pasta, made from flour.
Palestinians cook it with chicken stock and onion. The taste is very light and simple.
mahshi w warak
Mahshi means zucchini, warak means grape leaves.
These are soup boiled zucchini being filled with / or rolled grape leaves/rice and meat inside.
This is a mom’s dish since forever. You might see Palestinian moms are rolling grape leaves on holidays.
Salatah means salad. So, it’s Palestinian salad as you’ve imagined.
Fool mdammas is mashed cooked broad beans with salt, garlic, and lemon juice etc. It’s one of the standard appetizers in Palestine.
Fool mdammas is often served as an appetizer for “mahshi w warak (zucchini and grape leaves)”.
It depends on the restaurants, how mashed the fool mdammas is. Some make it very creamy, some make it medium-mush, or some other make it half creamy & half beans.
Za’atar is a mixed spice with pounded thyme and oregano adding salt and sesame.
When you eat a Palestinian bread, dip it in olive oil, then put it on za’atar then eat it. That perfect salt seasoned and the good smell of herbs give a good appetite.
Za’atar is a traditional spice that each family has.
Known as an Egyptian dish though, it’s very common soup also in Palestine. It’s thick and tasty.
Palestinians like squeezing a lemon just before tasting it.
Taybeh beer is the only beer brewed in Palestine.
We can visit its brewery in Ramallah district (see taybehbeer.com for details).
A bottle costs about 18-20 NIS in restaurant (2012).
3aSeer lamoun w na3na3
This is fresh mint lemon juice, often served at restaurants.
Na3na3 (sounds like na-a na-a) means mint in Arabic.
This juice is made from fresh lemon juice with sugar and fresh mint, which re-energizes your body.
Jericho mineral water
Palestine origin mineral water. Jericho is the city famous for its plenty of water.
Tap water is safe in Palestine (in author’s opinion), but it isn’t that tasty.
This Jericho water is sold everywhere. The price depends on each shop, it costs about 2-3 NIS (2012).
Knafeh is a sweet cheese pastry added syrup and pistachio on it.
Knafeh is a specialty of Nablus. There are some famous pastry shops (see this entry).
Ma’amoul is small cookie often made for seasonal events.
In supermarkets, we can buy factory made ma’amoul. They are filled with dates paste etc.
Before baking, Palestinians tuck the surface with ice tongs, which gives a beautiful pattern.
It tastes like shortbread. Good for teatime.
Zungul is like syrup-dipped donuts. It is super sweet.
In some restaurant, zungul is served as a dessert.