Brunch Has Got Nothing On Traditional Syrian Breakfast

The spread is amazing, and the time spent enjoying it is even better.
02/09/2017 07:33am ET | Updated February 9, 2017

In response to the Muslim ban, one way for us to navigate these times is to educate ourselves ― to learn what we can about the cultures of the nations that are affected. This week we’re taking a look at breakfast in Syria. After all, food is the distillation of community and culture to its most basic form. We hope you’ll cook along with us in support.

A Syrian Breakfast spread of cheese, bread, olives, fresh vegetable salad, fattet hummus, among other dishes.

In the United States, breakfast is often a hurried affair. Sure, weekends offer the option for brunch, but weekday breakfast is often an exercise in getting food to mouth before rushing out the door.

Considering the fact that breakfast is often thought of as the most important meal of the day, it feels like we just aren’t doing it right. Syria, on the other hand, is clearly winning the breakfast game. Just look at the morning meal below:

Maggie Bencivenga
A spread of plates that make up a traditional Syrian breakfast.

Syrian cuisine is thousands of years old; it’s no wonder that after all this time they’ve really gotten breakfast down. The meal is not only an amazing offering of levantine dishes, it’s also a time for family and conversation.

Syrian breakfast usually consists of an assortment of small plates, served with tea or coffee. Traditionally, Syrians use pita bread to eat their food in place of utensils, so breakfast will typically include a basket of pita. Some other staples to be expected are olives, Syrian cheese, eggs in some form, fresh vegetables, ful medames (a dish of stewed fava beans) and fattet hummus (an amazing dish made of fried pita, chickpeas and yogurt). Other common items include jams, pastries, makdous (small stuffed eggplant), olive oil and za’atar.

With this kind of spread, it’s no wonder that Syrians can linger over these meals for a couple of hours. If you’re ready to up your breakfast game Syrian style, here are few recipes you need to get started:

Ful Medames
No Recipes
Get the Ful Medames recipe from No Recipes
Fattet Hummus
James Ransom/Food52
Get the Fattet Hummus recipe from Food52
Syrian Pita Bread
Seduction In The Kitchen
Get the Syrian Pita Bread recipe from Seduction In The Kitchen

Also consider trying these:

Makdous recipe from Syrian Cooking

Once the plates are prepared, place them in the middle of the table for everyone to share. Be prepared to linger for a while, drinking tea and enjoying this healthy and delicious meal.