Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Food & Drinks in Tunisia

AfricaTunisiaFood & Drinks in Tunisia

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Food in Tunisia

Tunisian cuisine is similar to Middle Eastern cuisine and is based on the traditions of the North African Maghreb, with couscous and marka stew (similar to Moroccan tagines) forming the backbone of most dishes. Unlike the Moroccan dish of the same name, the Tunisian tagine is an omelette-like pâté, made of meat and vegetables mixed with herbs, legumes and offal, filled with eggs and cheese, and baked in a casserole dish until the eggs are set, similar to an Italian frittata. Lamb forms the basis of most meat dishes and local seafood is abundant. Although pork products are not widespread, they can still be found in certain supermarkets and in tourist hotels.

  • Harissa: very hot, spicy chilli paste (sometimes made milder with carrots or yoghurt), served with bread and olive oil as an appetiser to almost any meal.
  • Shorba Frik: Lamb soup
  • Coucha: Lamb shoulder cooked with turmeric and cayenne pepper
  • Khobz Tabouna(pronounced: Khobz Taboona): traditional bread baked in the oven.
  • Brik (pronounced breek): very crispy thin dough with a whole egg (brik à l’œuf), parsley and onions and sometimes meat such as minced lamb or tuna (brik au thon). Very tasty as an inexpensive starter. Eat it very carefully with your fingers.
  • Berber lamb: Lamb cooked in a clay pot with potatoes and carrots.
  • Merguez: small spicy sausages.
  • Salade tunisienne: lettuce, green peppers, tomatoes, onions, olives, radishes mixed with tuna.
  • Salade méchouia: A salad of puréed grilled vegetables (often seasoned with harissa), served with olive oil and tuna.
  • Fricassé: Little fried sandwiches with tuna, harissa, olives and olive oil.
  • Tunisian pastries: sweets related to baklava.
  • Bambaloni: deep-fried, sweet, donut-like cake served with sugar.
  • Tunisian “fast food”: sandwiches, makloubs (folded pizzas)

Regrettably, restaurant culture in Tunisia is very underdeveloped and most food prepared in restaurants outside Tunisian homes or souks is disappointingly bland and carelessly presented. These characteristics run the gamut of prices, although occasionally you can eat tasty couscous or “coucha” stew in some budget restaurants. In Tunisia, the best chance of getting a good meal is to be invited to someone’s house as a guest or to eat at an open-air market food stall.

Drinks in Tunisia

Being an advanced Muslim country, the availability of alcohol is limited (but not severely) to certain licensed (and invariably more expensive) restaurants, holiday areas and magasin général shops. Major department stores (Carrefour in Marsa/Carthage) and some supermarkets (e.g. Monoprix) sell beer and wine, as well as some local and imported hard liquor, except on Muslim holidays. Female travellers should be aware that outside resorts and areas with high concentrations of tourists, they may find themselves having a beer in a smoky bar full of men drinking in a more dedicated manner. Some bars will refuse to admit women, others will ask for a passport to check nationality. Look around a bar before you decide to drink!

  • Beer: Locally, Celtia is the most popular brand, but in some places you can find imported pilsner beer. The locally brewed Löwenbräu is decent, and Heineken is planning a Tunisian brewery in 2007. Celtia “En Pression” (On Tap) is good. Celestia is a non-alcoholic beer that is also popular.
  • Wine: Most places that serve alcohol have Tunisian wine, which is quite good. Tunisian wine has always been produced by French oenologists. Most of it was exported to France until the 1970s. What remained were wine cooperatives that produce 80% of the wine, which is mainly served to tourists. Since the privatisation of some parts of these cooperatives, international wine tastes have entered Tunisia. Small companies such as Domaine Atlas, St Augustin and Septune have succeeded in launching a new generation of Tunisian wines. Importing wine is extremely difficult because of the very high taxes. Some upscale hotel restaurants can miraculously find French or Italian wines for a price.
  • Boukha: A typical Tunisian spirit distilled from figs.
  • Coffee: is served strong in small cups. Tunisian cappuccinos are also served in strong, small cups.” Many tourist areas sell ‘coffee creamers’, which may also appear in ‘American cups’. Local favourites are the Capucin (espresso macchiato) and the Direct (latte).
  • Tea: generally drunk after meals.
  • Mint tea: very sweet peppermint tea taken at any time of the day.

How To Get in Tunisia

With plane The main international airport for regular flights to Tunisia is the International Airport Tunis-Carthage (IATA: TUN), which is located close to Tunis. From the airport, you can take a taxi to the centre of Tunis (be careful, the taxi meters may be tampered with). They are best stopped...

How To Travel Around Tunisia

With plane TunisAir express is the domestic airline branched off from TunisAir. There are flights between Tunis and Tozeur, Djerba and Gabès, and also those to Malta and Naples. The website is only available in French. Booking is possible online or through the Tunisair Express agencies. With car Tunisian highways are similar...

Visa & Passport Requirements for Tunisia

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Destinations in Tunisia

Regions Northern Tunisia (Ariana, Bèja, Ben Arous, Bizerte, Jendouba, Mahdia, Manouba, Monastir, Nabeul, Siliana, Sousse, Tunis and Zaghouan) The capital Tunis, the entire northern coast and the mountains, as well as a number of very popular seaside resorts on the Mediterranean Sea.Central Coast Tunisia (Gabès, Madanine, Sfax and Sidi Bouzid)The...

Accommodation & Hotels in Tunisia

There are many good hotels in Tunisia. In the bigger cities there are many smaller hotels hidden in most of the streets. You can also rent a furnished flat. Some private people offer their own flats for rent, especially in summer. It is advisable to organise your accommodation online or by...

Weather & Climate in Tunisia

Tunisia has a Mediterranean climate in the north, with mild rainy winters and hot, dry summers. The south of the country is desert. The relief in the north is mountainous, which, moving southwards, gives way to the hot, dry central plain. Along a line stretching east-west along the northern...

Things To See in Tunisia

History and archaeology Although Tunisia is now mostly known for its beach holidays, the country has an amazing heritage with some extraordinary archaeological remains to explore. Little remains of Carthage, but what is there is relatively well preserved compared to the rest of the ruins in Tunisia. This great city from...

Things To Do in Tunisia

Beaches Beach holidays in Tunisia are very popular, especially with Europeans. Some of the most important beach resorts are along the east coast, from La Goulette (near Tunis) to Monastir.The southern island of Djerba is an alternative. Many water sports activities are widely available or you can just relax and...

Money & Shopping in Tunisia

The national currency is the Tunisian dinar(TND). Typical banknotes are circulated in TND5 (green), TND10 (blue or brown), TND20 (purple-red), TND30 (orange) and TND50 (green and purple). The 2 nars are divided into 1000 milleme and the typical coins are TND5 (silver with copper insert), 1 nar (large - silver), 500...

Festivals & Events in Tunisia

1 January: New Year14 January: Revolution and Youth Day4 February: Mouled (anniversary of the Prophet) - (shifts by 11 days per year towards the beginning of the year, depending on the lunar calendar)20 March: Independence Day9 April: Martyrs' Day1 May: Labour Day18 July (2015) : Eid al-Fitr (end of...

Internet & Communications in Tunisia

Phone in Tunisia All towns and most villages have public telephones under the name of Publitel or Taxiphone. International calls are usually quite expensive (DT 1,000/minute for calls within the EU).t There are three GSM mobile operators, the private Tunisiana , the private Orange and the state-owned Tunisie Telecom...

Traditions & Customs in Tunisia

Tunisia is a Muslim country and dress code is important, especially for women. While a lot of skin (even topless) is tolerated on the beaches and in hotel complexes, a modest amount of exposed skin may be frowned upon outside these areas. Be aware that Tunisia becomes more conservative the...

Language & Phrasebook in Tunisia

The official language of Tunisia is Arabic, which is also one of the languages of commerce, the other being French, a heritage of Tunisia as a French protectorate until 1956.The dialect of Arabic spoken in Tunisia, similar to neighbouring Algeria and Morocco, is Maghreb Arabic, which is almost incomprehensible...

Culture Of Tunisia

Culture Of Tunisia is mixed, having been shaped by external influences for a long time: Phoenicians, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, Arabs, Turks, Italians, Spaniards and French - they have all left their mark on the country. Painting in Tunisia The emergence of contemporary Tunisian painting is closely linked to the School of...

History Of Tunisia

Ancient Farming methods reached the Nile Valley from the Fertile Crescent region around 5000 BC and spread to the Maghreb by around 4000 BC. The farming communities of the humid coastal plains of Central Tunisia represent the ancestors of the present-day Berber tribes. In ancient times, it is believed that Africa...

Stay Safe & Healthy in Tunisia

Stay safe in Tunisia Violence Tunisia has recently experienced a revolution and is currently in a controversial transition phase. Although there is currently no large-scale violence, demonstrations do occur from time to time and are sometimes violent and/or brutally dispersed. Therefore, before travelling to Tunisia, check with your foreign office about...



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