This can be an elaborate spread of forty or fifty hors d’oeuvres or simply a salad and a bowl of nuts. But it is always a social occasion when friends and family gather to enjoy appetizers and conversation before lunch and dinner.
The Wikipedia article provides a good list of dishes that may be served at mezze.
Over on Food.com they provide recipes for Hot Spiced Cheese Goreme, Fattoush Salad, Lamb Koftas, and Warm Roasted Olives with Preserved Lemons.
Rishta – Noodles, lentils and tomato (this will be our dinner tonight and the play-by-play will be a future post)
Sambusak – Triangle filled turnovers. This recipe provides both options for chickpeas and meat filling.
Chicken Shawarma – Like a gyro… like a taco… folded bread, meat and veggies with a variety of spices. Lamb would also be a common option.
Sujuk – two-part video recipe showing how to make these sausages without casing.
Booza – Ice cream made with Orange Flower water and grated pine sap from trees common to the region that is known in the US as the additive Gum Arabic. One Lebanese version calls for mastic which can be purchased from Amazon.com.
Halawat al-Jibna – Cheese and pistachio filled pastry. This German recipe calls for mozzarella, semolina flour and rose-water which may be easier to find in Europe and the US than a more local version.
Walnut Semolina Cake – Honey, figs and chocolate round out this taste explosion.
ComeToSytria Virtual Tours – uses the iPix plug-in to take 360 degree tours of many landmarks, downtown Damascus and the countryside.
Geographic Expedition Photo Gallery – Tour company gallery of images from stops on their tours.
A Sojourn to Syria – One person’s adventures in Syria with a bit of a political twist, but wonderful pictures.
Exploring Syria – another travel blog site with wonderful pictures of countryside and cityscapes.
No Politics Please We Are Syrian – (Cashed Copy) – good analysis of the politics and geography of the conflict in Syria from the perspective of a Syrian.
Syria unrest: ‘Protesters killed’ at Omari mosque – First person account of this week’s protests from a BBC journalist in Syria.
Syrian Troops Open Fire on Protesters in Several Cities (New York Times from Egypt) – First hand accounts of today’s unrest are difficult to come by and while long, this article brings up several points to ponder as this situation continues.