The beautiful Mediterranean country of Tunisia is located in Africa’s northernmost regions. Its unique culture is a mix derived from all its invaders and settlers, from the Romans to the Turks and now France with whom Tunisia has trade agreements. Tunisian cuisine is inexpensive yet delicious. Vegetables are an important part of all meat and fish dishes. It is not too spicy so it appeals to global palettes. The mouth watering deserts have strong French and Turkish hints.
The Tunisians are not far behind when it comes to drinking either. Despite being an Islamic country, Tunisia produces a special variety of liqueur, red and white wines of very good quality and Celtia, a beer which is brewed in houses. While coffee is big among Tunisians, the most important beverage is the Mint tea which is drunk many times during the day and tea drinking sessions with friends and family are almost ritualistic. The tea used is mainly Chinese green tea, like gunpowder, chun mee or zhu cha.
Mint tea preparation is an important job. While cooking is generally female domain, mint tea is made by the men. It is a complicated procedure and usually changes from region to region. When ready, it is poured out of a pot into little glasses. To produce froth on the surface, the tea is poured from a height out of a special pot with a long slender spout. Usually very sweet, around four to five teaspoons of sugar for each glass, the healthier option is substituting sugar with honey. Mint tea is had without milk, with pine nuts as garnish. Due to its very strong aroma it is may not be liked by all, but the Tunisians swear by it for its digestive values. Traditionally, you have to drink three glasses of the tea and refusing it when offered is considered extremely impolite.
Here’s how you can make Tunisian Mint Tea at home. You need:
You can have Tunisian mint tea warm or hot or make it less sweet if you wish. For the best and most authentic experience have the mint tea bitter-sweet with enough pine nuts to add a satisfying crunch.
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