Well, here we are back in Kuwait, with nothing better to do than go out for dinner (and breakfast, and lunch), ride my bicycle, play cribbage, soak up the rays, and walk along the ocean contemplating our next chapter in life. (Don’t worry, what I mean by that is deciding our plans for summer vacation…)
We thought it was high time we shared with you the Arab taco.
The above definition asserts the notion that tacos are strictly Mexican in origin. To me, a taco is a bit like a vehicle. Everyone has their favorite mode of transportation, but how you choose to get there can make all the difference. Bicycles, SUVs,public transportation, rocket ship, mental journey, the possibilities are endless. To pull this nauseating metaphor to an end, I want to venture in saying that tacos do not have to fit into a specific genre. You can make a “taco” out of anything.
Intro the Arab taco.
Step 1: Go to your nearest souk. If you’re at all lost, look for alleyways filled with colorful fabric, skewered meat, and people calling you, “For you, special price!”. Sit down in an eating area—bonus points if you find a place with no menu.
Step 2: Order copious amounts of food on accident. (Try not to eat anything after 8am the morning of, if you can help it.) In your best “I know what I’m doing, I swear” accent, ask for the following:
– hummus (The soupy-looking dish on the left.)
– shish tawouk (The chicken in the center.)
– bread (Still haven’t figured out how to ask for this one. They bring it on the house anywhere you go.)
– salad (Again, on the house, the dish on the far right of the screen.)
– rumman khair o-salada (The pomegranate masterpiece to the right of the chicken.)
Step 3: The hummus. The Arabic version of guacamole. It’s everywhere. Made out of chickpeas, tahini (sesame seed oil), lemon juice, garlic, salt, and lots and LOTS of olive oil. I just may have more hummus coursing through my veins than I do blood cells. While you wait for the rest of your food to arrive, feel free to dip a few pieces of lettuce into your hummus. Or just eat it with your finger.
Step 4: The chicken. We always order only “one”, but end up with four skewers. Since I’m a vegetarian, the daunting task of demolishing all this chicken lies to my husband alone. He never fails to disappoint.
Step 5: My personal favorite. Pomegranate cucumber salad. Have you ever SEEN so much pomegranate? I am also fairly certain this dish costs around $2.00. There’s a reason why they stick spoons in it when they serve it to you…
Pomegranate is one of the most beautiful reasons to live in the Middle East. Did you know they symbolize fertility? They are in abundance everywhere you go. We are spoiled!
Step 6: Liberally slather your bread with hummus, and place some chicken in the center. Don’t worry about being cleanly about it—with bread this size, you just yank off a corner.
Step 7: Top the bread/chicken/hummus combo with the pomegranate salad and a bit of lettuce & lemon juice. Before you know it, you’re in heaven. Twenty minutes later, you’ve eaten your weight in bread, pomegranates, and hummus, and you’ve paid $12.00 for the two of you.
Now that’s a date night if I’ve ever seen one.