10 things to know if invited for a Tunisian Iftar

Hello dear readers, I hope the previous blog post about Ramadan was interesting. I decided to write a follow-up to that one after few friends started asking me about what to do or what not to do when invited to an Iftar with a Tunisian family ! For your information an Iftar means the meal where people break the fast. 🙂

1. Prepare yourself to eat so much food! Ramadan is about fasting during the day and eating tons of food during the Iftar.

2. Make sure you let the host family know if you have an preference when it comes to how spicy food it. If you can’t tolerate spicy food you might want to flag that to them.

3. Make sure you show up on time, the time for breaking the fast is set and one minute late is not cool once you are starving and you really want to start eating but the guest is not there! That’s not cool so make sure you are on time.

4. Brace yourself to at least a 4 courses meal. There will be salads,the famous briks,main course and desert. All in all you need to think before you eat. Portions are important so you don’t want to eat too much of one dish and end up being rude by not eating from the rest of the dishes.

5. The person who is hosting you is probably fasting when he or she cooked the meals so make sure you complement them and emphasize how tasty the food is. Even if that’s not true just pretend it is tasty (go home and order pizza upon your return ).

6. Bring a sweet treat or healthy desert (mainly fruits and the fact that it is summer here there are tons of options to pick from. I would recommend taking water melon because that’s a fruit with water and bananas can be a good choice as well!).

7. Offer helping with the dish cleaning once the meal is over. However, it is known in the Tunisian culture that guests should not clean after being invited for a meal!

8. Some Tunisians love Ramadan TV shows so they might want to watch them while eating. Be patient with that. I hate (I know I know hate is a strong word but I mean it) those stupid shows. They mean nothing to me because I have never owned a TV but some Tunisians love them!

9. Tunisians will most likely tell you to come for an iftar again for a second time. But they won’t necessarily mean it! So think about whether you will join then again or not! Remember, inviting people over for Ramadan can be costly especially if the hosts are typical Tunisians (they will get you the best food and desert).

10. Ramadan is the holy month where people really like to stay up late (sometimes super late even) so plan to stay up late if invited. If you need to leave by a certain time, make sure you let the host know in advance because there might be a second round of food and desert.
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