Daily Archives: February 20, 2010

Habitat for Humanity and Mansaf (منسف)

I just spent a wonderful day with a group of awesome students volunteering with Habitat for Humanity here in Jordan. We worked on a family’s home who was building a new story above their current house for two of the brothers that just had gotten marries. It’s customary here for people to live with their parents until they get married, and then often when they do get married, instead of buying a new house, they just build another story on their parents’ house. How would you like that Mom and Dad?

The whole experience was really fun, but the highlight was probably the meal at the end. The homeowners cooked us a huge meal of mansaf (منسف), which is a very traditional Jordanian dish – in fact, the national dish of Jordan. It’s usually lamb (though this was chicken) with a sauce called jameed (جميد), which is fermented dried yogurt, all served over rice. If it sounds gross smelling, that’s because it kind of is, but it is still really good. The best part though, is that you are supposed to eat it with your hands. Jackpot. Check out a picture of the meal to the left.

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