Based on grains, seafood, fruits, vegetables, seafood, garlic and liquid-gold olive oil, the unique Mediterranean cuisine has brought Tunisia into every chef’s handbook. A pot of olive oil in place of butter is a longstanding Tunisian custom.
About 75 million olive trees are cultivated over 4.2 million acres (1.7 million hectares) in Tunisia making it one of the largest exporters of olive oil in the world. It takes up about one-third of Tunisia’s arable land. However, the most impressive part remains to be the fact that majority of the oil is produced naturally. About 80% of the olive oil produced is categorized as extra virgin olive oil. It goes without saying that oleiculture, that is the processing, production, and marketing of olive, is the primary agricultural activity of the country.
In the highly-touted Mediterranean diet, olive oil plays a crucial part, especially when it comes to the nutritional benefits. From polyphenols to being a rich source of vitamin A and D, olive oils are inevitable when it comes to Tunisian cuisine.
The brik, a delicate deep-fried envelope of pastry plumped up with egg is a traditional must-try dish of Tunisia. Perhaps the most prolific starter of any Tunisian cuisine is salade mechouia which is a curious blend of roasted garlic, peppers, and harissa. A similar recipe is Salade Tunisienne which again needs olive oil for seasoning along with lemon juice and mint. Speaking of harissa, it is a fire-red concoction made from garlic, caraway seeds, and crushed dried chili. It is traditionally served neat with a bowl of olive oil and is a must-have for Tunisian food tables.
The olive oil comes with a list of health benefits such as:
• Rich in monosaturated fats
• Contains large amount of antioxidants
• Prevents weight gain and obesity
• Has anti-inflammatory properties
• Protects against heart diseases
Tunisian food is difficult to find in the United States. If you are a maverick connoisseur and want to be a distributor of the traditional Mediterranean specialty foods, get in touch with Fafani Foods. Have a look at http://fafanifoods.com/ to get an overall idea of how it all started. Dial 844-232-1411 to reach fafani foods and taste the unique flavors of the Tunisian or Mediterranean cuisine.