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A touch of Mediterranean flavor.
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Libyan cuisine is typical of North Africa, with a touch of Mediterranean flavor. Couscous, traditional breads and starchy pastes are the base of every meal. Lamb, chicken and mutton are widely consumed, but pork is forbidden in accordance with Muslim custom. Dishes featuring lamb are especially popular, such as tajeen (spiced lamb with tomato and paprika sauce) and sherba (lamb soup with vegetables, mint and tomato paste). Soups and stews are often paired with couscous or used as dips for bread. In Tripoli, Libya’s capital on the Mediterranean, Italian influence is most prevalent. You will often find macaroni as a substitute for couscous. The fare in this city features many pasta and seafood dishes that are less common in the southern region of the country, where dishes are more characteristically Arab.

Popular fruits and vegetables include dates, figs, oranges, apricots and olives. Alcoholic drinks have been officially banned in Libya since 1969. Although you can find illegal liquor and brews, they should be avoided. Tea is the most common beverage, usually served with mint or peanuts.—Alexandra Menglide


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