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.
Thanks to its long coastline and numerous fishing ports, Tunisia can serve a most abundant, varied and exceptionally fresh supply of fish in its restaurants. Before ordering, restaurant owners will usually show you a large plate of fish including red mullet, sole, mackerel, grouper, sea perch, cod, tuna, octopus, etc.
Many fish lovers will be happy to have their fish simply grilled and served filleted or sliced with lemon juice and a little olive oil. Fish can also be baked, fried in olive oil, stuffed, seasoned with cumin (kamoun), however. Squid, cuttle fish, and octopus are often served in hot crispy batter with slices of lemon.
The most sought-after speciality is poisson complet: the fish you choose is prepared, fried, grilled or sautéed (whichever way you choose), accompanied by chips and either normal or spicy tastira, depending on the kind of peppers used in the dish. The peppers are grilled with a little tomato, a lot of onion and a little garlic, all of which is finely chopped and served with a poached egg.
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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