Tunisian cuisine – a unique alloy of culinary traditions of all peoples who inhabited or conquered Tunisia: Berberov, Phoenicians, Romans, Greeks, Arabs, Turks, French. Add here to the cooking of Andalusian (Spain) refugees who arrived here after reconquists, and Italian influence increased in the 20th century.
In this article, let’s talk about how to prepare tourists in Tunisia – the main ingredients, methods of cooking and the most common dishes.
Ingredients and features
As with most Mediterranean kitchens, key ingredients of Tunisian cuisine are: olive oil, tomatoes, seafood and fish, meat and fragrant seasonings. Among all Mediterranean cuisines, Tunisian is considered the most acute.
The sharpness of most dishes gives the National Tunisian Sauce "Harisa", which is preparing from chili pepper, cumin, garlic, coriander, tomato paste and olive oil. Charissa in Tunisia – more than sauce, this is an important part of the culture of the people.
For example, there is a belief that the happiness of the marriage can be judged by the number of Harissa, which the wife adds her husband to food. If Harissa began to put a little, then sobbed. Harisa, this is also one of the most interesting and colorful gifts that tourists are carrying from Tunisia, she dedicated to her detailed article on our website, read "Sauce and Spice Charissa".
Tunisians actively use chili pepper in pure form. Other interesting seasonings, popular in Tunisian cuisine: jasmine, pink water, geranium, orange water, parsley, coriander, mint, basil, rosemary, oregano, bay leaf, thyme. By ordering a Dish of Tunisian cuisine in a restaurant, get ready for faururia of tastes.
Another distinctive feature of Tunisian cuisine is an abundance of fish and seafood. The main fish in the cooking of Tunisia, of course, is a tuna. Tuna fry, used in salads and as a filling for briks or Tunisian Frickasse.
Unfortunately, dishes from another fish do not shine a variety. The most common option is flavored and baked in the whole grilled fish. Other dishes with fish remember difficult.
Seafood in modern Tunisian cuisine are used every year more and less often, as the catch of shrimps, crabs, octopuses, squid and mussels in the Mediterranean Fall. In Tunisia, there was a popular pasta with seafood, this is a purely Italian dish migrated to Tunisia. From French cuisine in Tunisia, shrimps and squids fried in deep fry.
From meat, in Tunisia most often used beef, chicken and lamb. Pork for religious reasons Tunisians do not eat, although growing pigs and pork prepare for tourists in hotels. In stores sell pork delicacies, photos we showed in our article "Prices for food in Tunisia".
In Tunisia, tourists see a lot of camels, and it is logical that camel meat is distributed here. Previously camels were actively used in the farm, camels were a lot, and they ate their meat, not to disappear. Now camels in Tunisia is rather decoration, and not a factory animal. Camels are small, meat is extremely rare, you will not find in restaurants.
Tunisians have one culinary habit that shocks Russians. They roast meat or vegetables to the condition of coal on the crust. Russians consider it a marriage, but in Tunisia this is considered a sign of the quality of cooking.
They think so: "If black, then the dish is finely treated". The quality of the roasted climate is very important – this is a guarantee of food safety. The dish in the photo on the right of Tunisian concepts was prepared very high quality, click on the photo to increase.
Chicken eggs are popular in Tunisian cuisine, there are several very colorful dishes from eggs: Shakshuk, Aja, Tunisian Tajin. Egg is the most common birch stuffing.
Two most popular fruit in Tunisia – these are dicks and oranges. The dates are growing here throughout the country, doves are growing and fruitful even on the streets of cities, which is often surprised by Russian tourists. Oranges are grown on the Peninsula Cap Bon, and the city is called the "orange capital".
Milk and dairy products in Tunisia have not been greatly popular. Hence, not very great experience of Tunisians in the preparation of dairy products. Local yogurts, cottage cheese and cheeses Most Russians recognize tasteless. Only butter in Tunisia is quite worthy quality.
Interesting fact that neither milk nor dairy products are added to dishes. All this is accepted separately. Tourists notice at breakfast at the hotel when they see how the Tunisian cook prepares an omelet only from eggs, the milk does not add.
Chief Vegetable – This is a tomato. Tomatoes in Tunisia are very cheap, 0.7 – 1.5 dinar per kilogram. Current currency rate Look in our article "Tunisian Dinar". Naturally, at such a price of tomatoes and tomato paste, cooks are used very actively.
In addition to tomatoes, in Tunisia Popular: onions, carrots, sweet peppers, cucumbers, capers, potatoes, eggplants. From nuts prefer: almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts and peanuts.
Main drink in Tunisia is coffee. It is brewed in large tanks and sell in cafes and public places. Often you can see a cafe, where Tunisian men spend output. They just sit all day, communicate and drink coffee.
Inexpensive coffee costs 0.4-0.8 dinar. This is a cool coffee, at least, so the editor-in-chief of our site responded. A cup of coffee on a photo next to them in the Sousse at the Bab Jdid station (Sachel Metro), it cost only 0.5 dinar.
Coffee in Tunisia is prepared in Turkish style, the legacy of that period of the history of Tunisia, when the country was part of the Ottoman Empire. Coffee flavory pink, orange or jasmine water. The Turks were brought in Tunisia in the 16th century. In Tunisia, there is even its national coffee pot – "Zizoua", almost no different from Turkish Turk.
Most Russians coffee – American, Latte, Cappuccino, Macocino in Tunisia are, but a little in another form. We are accustomed to dilute coffee, for us the concept of "big American" is 0.3-0.4 liters. In Tunisia, a "big American" understand the volume of 0.1-0,15 liters.
The second national drink is mint tea "Magli" or "Atay". Such tea is common in all Maghrib countries, and each country considers himself a genericant. It is green tea with mint and sugar. Cooking Atay is a whole tradition, only men prepare him.
Naturally, juices and various sodes are distributed in Tunisia. Alcohol in Tunisia sell only licensed bars, restaurants and shops. Strong alcohol only in Duty Free and stores of Magazin General. Read our articles "Alcohol in Tunisia" and "Magazin General".
Tunisian cuisine boasts dozens of dishes that we would recommend trying. But we all do not try, so we made up top10 dishes that we recommend trying during Tunisian holidays.
One of the most recognizable national Tunisian dishes. Prepared from a special dough "Malswie" from Manka. The dough is finely rolled, put filling from eggs, potatoes, tuna or combination of the above. Next, Brick "closes", but not to the end, and fry in oil.
It turns out something reminiscent of the usual Cheburek, but the brick taste is very different. The dough in the briquettes is fine and crispy, more resembles chips. For the birch filling, it is not customary to use meat.
BRIC size reminds Chebureks. The form make a semicircular or triangular. It is believed that Tunisian BRIC occurred from the Turkish Burebs. We can say that Brick and Cheburek – "Summary Brothers".
Read in our article in detailBRIC – Tunisian Cheburek".
The dish with the name "Couscous" is in many countries, and in each country it is special.
Couscous in Tunisia is prepared in a special double boiler. In the bottom of the meat, spices, vegetables. This mixture is stealing, and the saturated couple from it falls into the outside of the double boiler, where there is a Crup Couscous. Cooking Couscous takes 1-2 hours of time. On the plate down the cereal is laid out, the stewed meat and vegetables are put on top.
Crup Couscous is made from Manka. Previously, women were prepared manually, the process was very expensive in time. Now Couscous is now made at special factories on an industrial scale. The technology of cooking the dish itself has not changed.
Instead of meat, you can put seafood or fish, especially a wide variety of "marine" cousos can be tried on the island of Djerba.
Russian tourists love Couscous on a buffet, but eat only the upper part (meat and vegetables), the croup does not even try. We do not recommend that you do, lose the cherished impressions of Tunisia and its unique kitchen. Eat all together.
Read in our article in detailCouscous in Tunisia".
Spicy and sharp sausages from beef or lamb with the addition of tomatoes and charissa sauce. Mirches have now become popular not only in Maghreb, but also in Western European countries. Moreover, in European countries, they are sometimes made from pork, which is never done in Tunisia.
In Tunisia, countless types of migrase: from different combinations of beef and ram, stuffing, from the liver of different animals, from other offal. Murgraza has always been not only a delicious dish, but also by the method of preservation of meat, thanks to acute sauce.
The dimensions of Mergez vary from small, reminiscent of our ordinary sausages, up to large, size with semicircle Krakow sausage. Semi-finished Mergrazes can be bought in any supermarket.
Methods of cooking margins are the same as our raw sausages – frying in a pan or grill, baking. In the hotels of Mercéza rarely serve, because the dish is sharp and spicy, not all tourists to taste.
We call, if you see sausages in a buffet at the hotel in Tunisia, do not overlap much, because it is quite likely that these migrase will not taste at all.
Read in our article in detailMergraz".
In the classic version, Shakshuk is the scrambled eggs, roasted in tomatoes, onions and spices sauce. However, Shakshuk in Tunisia can prepare at all without eggs. Fry potatoes or sausages.
In hotels sometimes prepare Shakshuk, but try to put smaller spices to accommodate the dish to taste European tourists. The real chakshuk must be ordered in the restaurant, only in this case, feel the fullness of this dish. And even we advise you to be careful, do not get dirty, tomato paste is poorly disappeared.
Tunisians eat Shakshuk and for breakfast, and for lunch, and for dinner, although it is considered more Morning food. Eating with bread, first eat eggs, then bread scums sauce.
Read in our article in detailShakshuk".
This cookie every country Maghreb considers its national dessert. On the right to be considered a homeland dish argue Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria and Libya.
Cookies macrom makes out of mankey. Between the two layers of the test make a layer from dates or figs. Almonds are always added, macrud is even often called "almond cookies", although the almond taste is not so bright here as the usual almond cookies.
From above, cookies are covered with sweet syrup or honey, then cut into small squares, more often. Then baked, the external surface of the cookie acquires the characteristic shine.
The taste of Macru is beautiful, although Russians have a big delight causes, as it is much tougher than habitual cookies. In hotels, macrud is not served every day, and try it is problematic.
Behind the biscuit, macruda is recommended to go to the local supermarket. It will become an excellent gift, thanks to a long storage.
Read in our article in detailSweets in Tunisia".
Tunisian and Moroccan Tajina should not be confused, these are completely different dishes!
Tunisian Tajin is a casserole of eggs, meat, spices and herbs. Sometimes potatoes, cheese or fish are added (instead of meat). This dish something like Italian Freetat.
Tunisian Tajin is customary to eat as a snack, and according to tradition he eating hands. Of course, our tourists use a fork that, as it seems to us, more culturally. Tunisian Tajin is one of the few non-sharp dishes in Tunisian cuisine. However, the Russians are still not particularly loved due to spices and herbs. Often, Russian tourists call him "omelet", which is not far from the truth.
Externally, Aja is like Shakshuk, however, the first impression is deceptive. Aji is a stew of vegetables, meat, spices and haryss (where in Tunisia without it).
Aji species are distinguished by the type of meat used. There is even "Aja-Mercéz" when the sausages of Mragaza (we talked about above) baked with vegetables and egg. It looks like this, let’s say, "very non-sustainable".
Another interesting view is called "Aji Royal", from the word "Royal" – "Royal". Such an aja is prepared from seafood – shrimp, scallops, mussels.
Well cooked adja retains a rich red color, pleasant on the view. The taste of Russian tourists rarely like, as this dish is always sharp and spicy. But if you love sharp, then visit Tunisia and do not try Ajji is akin to the crime.
At the Swedish tables in the hotels of Aja appears very rarely to try this dish, you need to go to the local restaurant.
Very popular dish, very similar to the usual salad with tuna. The difference is that there is a lot in Tunisian tuna salad.
Prepares from tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, tuna. In some versions of Tunisian salad, eggs, peas, beans, potatoes, or olives add. Salad refueling with olive oil.
Tunisians themselves say: "This is the National Dish of Tunisia, in which there is nothing Tunisian". And it’s true, the dish is more like a French or Italian.
In the hotels, Tunisian salad in the buffet is almost always present, as it is not sharp, guests like. Don’t miss this dish.
He "Red Salad", he "baked salad". A very popular dish, there are always restaurants in restaurants, in the hotels in the Swedish tables there is almost always. Served as aperitif.
Prepared from fried peppers, tomatoes, olive oil, bow and garlic. Often, egg or tuna add to this salad. In the classic version it is a vegetarian dish.
Bashow salad can be sharp or neutral, depends on the recipe. The hotels are more likely to have a neutral option, the restaurants are more popular sharp.
We are accustomed that the salad is an exceptionally cold dish. That is, at first the ingredients are prepared (if necessary), then cold mixed and refuel oil or sauce. Bashiya salad is preparing differently, here the ingredients are roasted in certain combinations, then mixed. Therefore, the interpretation is not entirely correctly called a salad, rather it is stew.
Very simple dish, which can be prepared even at home, only go to the jar of Charissa.
Prepares from lush buns, something resembling a donut. Bun is cut and inside a mixture of tuna with a chariss and boiled eggs. Sometimes boiled potatoes or olives are added.
In hotels, such frricks is prepared extremely rarely. In restaurants in the menu it happens rarely. But in Street Fudd, it meets everywhere. It can be said that it is in Tunisia at every step, and in the literal sense of this expression.
In the classic version of the dish sharp, although there are neutral recipes.
Tips for vacationers in Tunisia
– Tunisian cuisine most Russians are unusual, and your stomach may also not be like. Be sure to take with you tools to normalize the work of the gastrointestinal. About the aid kit on the trip, we talked in the article "What to take in Tunisia";
– If you want to bring home some dishes, for example, baking or sweets. Do not forget about the restrictions on customs. Read our article "What can and cannot be removed from Tunisa";
– If you plan to prepare on vacation on the Tunisian resorts, then you read our article "How much products cost in Tunisia".
Pleasant impressions from Tunisian cuisine, and read our interesting and useful articles for tourists about Tunisia (Links below).