Though predominantly Arab and Muslim, Tunisia's long history as a European colony, dating back to Roman times, and more recently as a protectorate of France, has added to the Mediterranean and North African culinary influences found in Tunisian cuisine.
There are innumerable kinds of desserts ranging from honey cakes stuffed with makhroud dates (a Kairouan speciality) to fresh figs, chick pea flour cakes, brick layers with almonds and honey (baklawa) which are found more or less everywhere, bouza (hazelnut or sorghum cream and grilled sesame seeds) served during the Ramadan meals, and assida, a thick flour cream and grilled pine seeds, and, depending on the meals at hand, pistachio, hazelnuts and pine kernels. These sweets are rarely eaten at the end of the meal, but a little later on in the day with mint tea, or when people visit or meet each other.
With the exception of palm wine (lagmi), Tunisia's wines come from the northern region's vineyards of Haut Mornag (red, white, rose), Koudiat (red, white, rose), Saint-Cyprien (red), Thibar (red, white), Tardi (red) and the Carthage, Hassen Bey and Kelibia muscats.
Numerous springs produce top quality mineral water, for example Safia, Ain Garci, Selma, Jetkiss, Zulel. During the summer a lot of fresh fruit drinks are drunk, notably orange and lemon juice. One could not forget to mention the traditional mint tea, sometimes served with pine kernels.
Information provided by the Tunisia National Tourist Office.
Also visit our Middle East section.
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This page modified January 2007
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