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The Art and Beauty of Travel: Beirut

There’s nothing like travel to help take you out of your everyday routine and open your eyes to new ways of being, doing, eating and drinking.

On your arrival everything is a new experience. You’re seeing your new, temporary home for the first time, experiencing the culture, climate and atmosphere without knowing what will come next. Because of this your senses are on high alert and you take in all of the details from the smallest to the largest. It can be overwhelming but exciting and invigorating at the same!

Travelling to an unexpected place to uncover a hidden gem can be the most exciting experience of all and that is the case with Beirut.

Once a war torn city, embattled by gun-shots from warring factions, it is now a city at peace and bursting with energy, creativity and most of all amazing food. Here our friend, Tan Morgül tells us about his first visit to a Beirut fish market.

“Many times in history, invaders have tried to destroy this beautiful city. Thankfully now peace has been restored and the magnificent Lebanese cuisine has been left unscathed; it both lives on in the minds of its people and shaped by the skilled hands of chefs throughout many of the cities amazing restaurants.

Fish markets

Whilst there we had to visit the fish market in Keserwan. I believe fish markets don’t just provide food; they provide a colourful window into the largest environment on earth and its fascinating inhabitants. With their scent of the sea, it’s as if they bring stories of that vast world.

The fish are in crates waiting for the customers to make their choices. The selection includes mostly local fish, with many species of grouper and sea bream. The yellow striped mullet, long-nosed whiting and parrot-fish, sardines, sea bream and red mullet also vie for our attention. In Beirut one of the most beloved Mediterranean fish is Red Mullet. It should be bought fresh and consumed immediately. Although frying is the preferred cooking method, it is also grilled and stewed in several Mediterranean cities.

On a Rakı Table, Red Mullet is normally always be served alongside other delights such as cous cous, fried calamari, stuffed mussels and Sayadieh which is a rice dish cooked with fish juices, preserved lemon and local spices.

The problem isn’t the choice or the quality, the problem is knowing when to say no!”

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