Saturday, August 4, 2012


Mansaf - the national dish of the Middle Eastern country of Jordan ("al-Orden" in Arabic)

I think every now and then I will post a food diary entry. It will highlight one of the odd or simply delicious foods I have eaten in the U.S. or across the world. Here is the first entry!

This was my first introduction to the national dish. I was leery I must say. I mean "mansaf" means "the destroyer" in Arabic, so that can't be good.

What I have learned throughout my travels is that you either tend to hate a country's national dish or absolutely love it. This one in particular consists of: rice (not so bad), thin bread (okay), pine nuts (tolerable), yogurt sauce (sickeningly sour) and boiled lamb (makes me queasy now thinking about it). I am not one to be rude and not try something, but this dish just did not look or sound appetizing and in my wasn't.

I have to be honest. I really did not like it, especially trying to stomach the tangy, sour yogurt coating the rice, bread, pine nuts and the very odd texture of boiled lamb. I'm sorry Jordan. I loved several other local foods, but this one was not a favorite. It was part of the cultural experience to try it though and I'm glad I did. I also had to not only try it once, but twice because another friend we met insisted on making us the Palestinian-version, which sadly tasted nearly exactly the same, but without the yogurt being extra soupy.

Has anyone else tried this dish? What did you think?


  1. I've never had Mansaf, although the tangy yogurt taste is one I know well from several beverages I had in Kazakstan. Imagine if you will a drink of sour fermented milk. I know all about not liking things locals think are fabulous. As far as KZs national dish goes bish parmak (meat, noodles, and potatoes most often) is FANTASTIC! Great blog Morgan!

  2. thanks Ryan! would love to try KZ's dish if I have the chance! Hope you are doing well! :)

  3. Oh dear...! Fortunately most of the food in Uganda, where I travel to most, has been outstanding, although they eat a lot of goat (tough!), and they eat bugs, at which I draw the line! The Spanish and Portuguese are big on organ meats, and I was there when I was pregnant, so my first Portuguese sentence was "anything but organ meat, I'm pregnant!" :o) Enjoyed your blog!

    1. Oh my! :D I've heard goat is tough too. Eww...on the organ meats. I think I would have been tempted to fake a pregnancy as an excuse. lol. That was a good Portuguese sentence to know!

      About the bugs...well I can't say I haven't eaten bugs. I've eaten termites in a Costa Rican jungle. lol. You just had to have been there! I should post about that sometime.

      Thanks for checking out my blog! Travelers and anybody posting their comments about their own experiences or those they wish to have is what this blog's all about. :D