Known for its legendary hospitality, but also for its various historical monuments, Tripoli is the second city of Lebanon. A historic city most appreciated for its magnificent mosques, its superb castle and its madrasas dating back to the 11th century, Tripoli also has a very special asset: its sweets.
Located 85 kilometers north of Beirut, Tripoli is the second most populated city in Lebanon (850,000 inhabitants). Buses serve it from the capital, and the terminus allows you to get off at the foot of the Clock Tower, a monument built in white bricks which dates from the time of the Ottoman Empire.
But the most emblematic site of Tripoli is the Citadel, a majestic castle which overlooks the city. Founded around 1100, the Château Saint-Gilles as many call it, is the former residence of Raymond IV of St Gilles, count of Toulouse. The place now houses two museums accessible to the general public.
Another tourist attraction in the city of Tripoli, the Taynal Mosque. Built in 1336 in the heart of gardens of orange trees, it covers the remains of a Carmelite church, also built on the ruins of a Roman temple dedicated to Zeus. Today it is surrounded by roads in the center of Tripoli.
Besides these historical monuments, Tripoli is also a city that is bubbling with dynamism. Its inhabitants live to the rhythm of commercial activity. The local market is marked by sellers of fabrics and worked copper, family soap factories but also pastries which attract more and more visitors. Between the charm sellers and the craftsmen who share the arches of the souk, it is (almost) impossible to miss the sweets that flood the streets of Tripoli.
Among the favorite gourmet desserts of travelers is osmallieh. A dish prepared with angel hair and milk cream, flavored with orange blossom and honey (or sugar syrup). Very well known in the Middle East, this dish is accompanied by green tea.
There is also maamoul, a small Lebanese shortbread generally filled with dates (or almonds, walnuts or pistachios). This is a festive pastry from the Middle East, the crumbly texture of which particularly appeals to gourmets.
Baklava, a small dessert made with phyllo dough, sugar or honey and pistachios. Just eat one to easily become addicted to this little gourmet bite.
And finally, namoura, a sweet semolina delight flavored with rose or orange blossom. A popular dessert in Mediterranean countries, but its most perfected version is found only in Lebanese pastries.