Tell us about your favorite street food

Street Food in Syria 

By Ghaythaa Deeb
Co-founder of IFbooks 15. 5 . 2016 

“ Tamari cakes O O O Razak Kareem “  was a vendor’s yell that attracted me while I was walking in one of Damascus markets to taste this desert for the first time , I couldn’t take my eyes off the vendor while he was putting tamari on the surface of the glass box in an acrobatic movement and in a very professional manner then sprinkle sesame , tahini, sugar, grape molasses, the final touch was a small cake to adjust a little the sweetness of Tamari taste (recently slices of banana added for this meal) .

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Tamari cakes

Tamari Cakes often sold in winter days where peddlers wander with their bicycles of the back glass boxes where sesame cans, sugar, grape molasses and stacks of fried chips dough called Tamri (similar to French crepes) can be seen as a mini food carnival . Street food isn’t something new but vendors with their decorated carts always arouse my curiosity by their simplicity , their welcoming faces and the cute phrases they invented to attract customers and promote their food items apart from the delicious smell that makes you fly to taste it . This food won’t cost you a lot of money , always available, and you don’t have to follow certain etiquette 😉  . In Damascus, as in many Syrian cities the food items of these carts vary according to the season of the year , the most crowded season for street food is in the month of Ramadan where colored mobile carts lined up to sell delicious and wide range of food items which consist with the vendors yells a unique orchestra ( you shouldn’t miss attending this event ) Amar al Din , Sahlab & Erk Sous are the most popular traditional drinks during this month .

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street food

Actually I cannot describe my feeling when I stop at one of street carts that selling , for example , fuul nabit (broad beans ) with huge pots placed on a hidden source of heat, only vapors from boiling hot water is what you can see , fuul cooked in a very hot boiling water to become tender and keeps the taste . Fuul nabit served hot in a small bowl and a cup of beans water , sumac, salt , cumin , lemon juice and sometimes some additions as per customer’s request , other street carts selling corn (either boiled or as a salad ) or carts of chickpeas ( called balila ) that boiled with cumin .Many people gather around these carts which spreads in Damascus markets and streets especially in the evening , grilled corn , roasted peanuts and sunflower seeds are very popular in Mount Qasioun that is the lovers favorite place , from which the whole city of Damascus can be viewed and where you can enjoy the calm , forget about life’s pressure and be near God Himself as it was believed for years , of course this romantic atmosphere won’t be completed without eating roasted nuts .

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Mount Qasioun

Some of street food only sold in the summer, such as awja ,jarnk , prickly pears of red or yellow colors  and some of handmade natural juice with ice cubes as blueberry , and tamarind . The marketing campaigns depend on vendors own voices or writings one of the funny phrases I’ve read on a cart ” We have no other branches 😀 ” & ” Please be careful of imitation products ” . When you are traveling between cities or heading to the countryside in Syria , street food won’t be available but you will meet with road food 🙂 one of the most famous and favorite food for travelers is manakish that consisting of dough topped with thyme, cheese , pepper paste , or ground meat , what is distinguished about this food is being cooked in a Tandoori clay ovens even before you start eating , watching food preparation will fill you with happiness .

Now tell us about your experience with street food , do you like the idea ?

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33 thoughts on “Tell us about your favorite street food

    • Wow very interesting actually many kinds of delicious food and beautiful streets i love Korea ❤ 🙂 thanks S.Morito is that you in these photos ? i watched a documentary about Namdaemun market in Seoul , i liked King’s candy and the way they made it by thousand of lines from honey that was amazing i would like to try it 😥 haha …. tell us more about street food items in Busan what is your favorite one please 🙂

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    • I would like to try the tamari cakes. I am craving something sweet maybe because I am hungry and I just woke up and I am going to do breakfast. Thank you for sharing that.

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  1. In Poland generally whole our street food are dominated by western fast foods like burgers, hot-dogs and so on.. Nowadays more popular being much healthy snacks like fruit smoothies, salads etc. Typically Krakow’s snacks are obwarzanki – http://d.polskatimes.pl/k/r/1/95/e0/52dab184b297a_o.jpg
    We also have something which we call zapieknaka (baguette baked with mushrooms and cheese and other various additives like sausage, chicken and many others) http://streetfoodpolska.pl/web/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/P1020105.jpg

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    • Is it sesames on obwarzanki? Is it like a croissant or a bagel? Zapieknaka is so gorgeous! Like a pizza. I guess I can make it. 😉

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      • Obwarzanek krakowski (it has the status of a regional food with protected geographical indication) has a long history dating back to the XIV century. Indeed is similar to Bagel but it’s not the same. It can be serves with sezam, salt or seeds of poppy. BTW probably Bagel was also invented in Krakow by Jewish community. The first mentioned about Bagel comes from Kraków from 1610….

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    • cake / bagel ( كعك ) is very popular in Syria especially with sesame , sweet or salt taste , tender or crunchy with many different and beautiful shapes … “obwarzanki ” is similar to Turkish cake ‘simit’ with sesame coated crust …other kind of cake with sesame called kaak sticks or ( kaak el Sham ) with a cup of tea or milk are favorite snacks among children … also Lebanese Kaak that stuffed with cheese or thyme spread widely in the morning on street carts . As for zapieknaka I think it’s not a sandwich only but a celebration of many delicious ingredients come together on a single platform of bread haha then to eat it is another story

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  2. I could enjoy hunting various sweets&food with you, Ghaythaa… Thanks to fattah, I love smells of cumin, lemon, and roasted nuts. :p
    In return I’ll take you to “yatai,” food cart/stall. You can eat baked and steamed corns, potatoes, beans, candied apples, cotton candies, and so on, but I recommend TAKOYAKI to you… It’s an octopus dumpling. haha. You remember my octopus?? Lovely shape, like a small round ball…

    How to make Takoyaki:

    The recipe is:

    Want to make TAKOYAKI with this machine? In fact I have it. haha…

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      • Hi! I am Hyogo native, but it is true that one Takoyaki machine per household, we do have it. Takoyaki is our soul food in the Kansai ( west Japan) region. Oishii! Naomi

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      • And smell of takoyaki sauce… mmm Takoyaki takes us to the moon(like a shape of takoyaki)…naomi-chan.

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      • Konbanwa Naomi 🙂 after I watched the video that Mami shared I can understand exactly your love of this meal and you should call it the art of Takoyaki ❤ .. Naomi do you think takoyaki machines can replace the handmade tradition ?!

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      • Takoyaki looks delicious… I wanted to ask about the same as Ghaydaa: is it possible to make Takoyaki without this special machine? Something like the manual way?

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      • I remember that Naomi gave this Takoyaki machine for my daughter…it’s a lot of fun to make them more than to eat.
        Yeah, Slawek, it’s little bit difficult to make Takoyaki without it. If you make it with a frying pan, it will be called Okonomiyaki. Perhaps Naomi will not consider it to be takoyaki …

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    • that cute octopus of course I remember him I fall in love with him from the first sight haha … anyways I think there is always sth similar between different cultures and at the same time unique from other cultures isn’t that amazing … I liked Takoyaki preparation i’ll enjoy making it if i catch an octopus haha but 😦 I prefer to try these cakes in on one of Japanese street and with your company Mami ..laughing all the time and eating :p

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  3. I was thinking what kind of food I would like to share. We’ll something famous in Mexico city are “Tortas de tamal” the tamal is a corn dough mixed with meat ( it could be pork, chicken ) and an spicy Mexican sauce, my favorite one are green salsa with chicken. I love the flavor. But in order to make it a Torta, you will need French bread. Usually people that haven’t eaten this says: “How can you eat dough with more dough?” But seriously it’s delicious. You have to try once and then decide. I know you can’t always eat this food but al least once a month haha. Also there are sweet tamales too.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=torta+de+tamal&espv=2&biw=1278&bih=678&site=webhp&tbm=isch&imgil=6AYEohYkLHDX8M%253A%253BVqm6icJ6JgcJXM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fwww.sdpnoticias.com%25252Fcolumnas%25252F2014%25252F06%25252F18%25252Fmitos-urbanos-de-la-torta-de-tamal-guajolota&source=iu&pf=m&fir=6AYEohYkLHDX8M%253A%252CVqm6icJ6JgcJXM%252C_&usg=__d_o8z_7eR1rJxcUnHJjwALZnC3s%3D&ved=0ahUKEwiWy4DVpOvMAhUnA1IKHcIeBNMQyjcIOA&ei=T2RAV9bnJqeGyALCvZCYDQ#imgrc=b7CnfUnpcTnxHM%3A

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    • Haha as for me I don’t mind trying this double dough sandwich and once a week as well 😛 thanks Jazmin for yor nice words and for sharing Tortas de tama with us 🙂

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    • I see photos of croquette it’s so similar to kubba but kubba always stuffed with meat and it isn’t street food here as it needs a lot of time to be prepared but it’s delicious taste deserves all that effort 🙂

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  4. I love street food >> in Damas there is a kind of breakfast named KAKI they put into it chess or some olive oil with dryer Oregano this is the best breakfast for me also in winter you can drink sugarcane juice named ” ASSAP juice ” it’s too sweet and gives you the warm and energy >>>>> i love your articles IF Books thank you

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  5. I love this, it is 1 am here and I’m sooo hungry, this is just uuuurrrggghh X) I want to eat all of them, and hopefully if I did my dream plan of traveling the world 😛 then I would really like to try the street food in each country. thank you all for all the food suggestions ❤

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