I Have a Confession to Make
I don’t like Tabbouleh. There, I said it. (If you are Lebanese and you are reading this right now and you never want to read my blog again, I totally understand.)
Whenever I say this to Lebanese people I see their jaws immediately drop and their eyes get wide. Then they follow with questions like, “How many times have you tried it?” or “Are you sure it was a good Tabbouleh?” or “My mother makes the best Tabbouleh. You should try hers before you say you don’t like it.” It is impossible for Lebanese to understand how anyone could not like Tabbouleh. All I can say is, sorry!
It’s just . . . here’s the thing . . . I don’t like parsley. (I know, I know! This is just about as blasphemous as not liking Tabbouleh.) I never knew I didn’t like parsley until I visited Lebanon for the first time last summer. My family is Italian and we use parsley a lot and I’ve never had a problem with it. But see, we sprinkle a bit on top of a dish for some added color, or put dried flakes in a pasta sauce. We don’t use it as a *main ingredient*!! The Lebanese put it in practically everything. And always generous portions of it.
If you’re thinking, I’ve had Tabbouleh before and I didn’t notice *that* much parsley, then you didn’t have the Lebanese version. This, dear readers, is NOT the way the Lebanese do it:
The Lebanese way has so little bulgur wheat that I had to actually ask some of my local friends if the dish even contains bulgur wheat (it does). So basically, pare back that ingredient to practically nothing and you get bite after bite of chopped parsley (with some small amounts of mint, tomato, olive oil, and lemon of course). Sounds delicious in theory, but that’s only if you’ve never tried a mouthful of raw parsley before.
When thinking about this post today I came across a blog post by BritinBeirut that just confirmed how weird people think I am when I mention my dislike for this (practically) national dish of Lebanon. (See numbers 6 and 7).
That said, I am going to make it a point to *try* and learn to like parsley in the next two years. Surely one can acquire a taste for it, no? And it’s not like I won’t have plenty of opportunities to try it.
Here’s hoping for the best.
And again, sorry. Hope I didn’t offend any Lebanese with this post.
(Photo credit and recipe for authentic Lebanese Tabbouleh)