Sophie Grigson in Jordan

Sophie Grigson follows in the footsteps of Moses and Lawrence of Arabia as she journeys through Jordan on her latest culinary travels. The spectacular sights such as the rose-red city of Petra and the expansive and majestic Wadi Rum desert are matched by fabulous local fare such as the plentiful mezze and the traditional zerb dinner. Sophie and travelling companion Hanan Samara waste no time in exploring the capital city Amman and learning about the unique blend of herbs and spices that distinguish Jordanian food. Sophie partakes in making Mansaf, a very traditional dish, before being introduced to the king of dates; the Medjoul date with its signature caramel tones. Fortified by kebabs, falafel and Kibbeh Neyyah along the way, Sophie arrives at journey's end in Aqaba savouring her journey in every sense.


No. of Episodes: 8


1  Amman - The White City

In Amman, Sophie Grigson meets her 'country host', Hanan Samara, who will be her guide on their Middle Eastern adventure. They first head to the beautiful Citadel which rises out of the centre of the Jordan's capital city, before plunging into the streets to sample the tastes, the clothes and the gold souk. Sophie and Hanan visit the Jordan River Foundation and stop for a mezze at the impressive Reem al-Bawadi Restaurant. Back at their hotel they indulge in some speciality cooking making Mansaf, a very traditional Jordanian dish before sitting sit back to enjoy a little belly dancing display.
Duration: 30'


2  From Water to Wine

South of the capital and close to the Dead Sea, Sophie Grigson and Hanan Samara head to the famous baptism site where John the Baptist was said to have baptised Jesus Christ in the River Jordan. Later they climb Mount Nebo and from there head to Madaba, a nearby town best known for its Umayyad mosaics. But all that history and food tasting is tiring so Sophie and Hanan retire to a vineyard owned by wine expert, Omar Zumot.
Duration: 30'


3  Sea Salts and Olive Oil

Sophie Grigson heads to the shores of the famous Dead Sea, where she enjoys a little mud therapy before visiting the Dead Sea Museum and learning centre. In pursuit of the theme of wellness, Sophie travels on to the nearby Hammamat Ma'in Hot Springs before discovering the Fortress of Mukawir. From there Sophie takes a break in Kan Zamen, a massive old style caravanserai now turned into an artist's village and restaurant. Lastly, Sophie retires for a spot of traditional coffee making before heading out to visit the family run Manaseer Olive Oil company and cook up in an olive grove.
Duration: 30'


4  Jerash - Pompeii of the East

Heading out north to Jerash Sophie Grigson and Hanan Samara go in search of an unusual church with a connected school and orphanage, where a statue of the Virgin Mary is said to have shed real blood tears. Travelling further north, they find themselves climbing up to the Ajloun Castle built in the 1100's, before exploring the village of Orjan and its original Organ Soap House. Finally they head to the famous Lebanese House Restaurant where they learn to make a speciality of the house, Kibbeh Neyyah.
Duration: 30'


5  Azraq - Manna From Heaven

Sophie Grigson and Hanan Samara make their way to the East across the Azraq desert for the 'castle loop' tour. They first stop at the Al-Karawan Confectionary Company for a little tour and tasting at a family-run award winning sweet factory. They then stop at several of the famous castles and palaces, such as Kharraneh, Amra and the Azraq basalt castle, en route to the Azraq Nature Reserve, There they meet their very own King of the Desert, Hakeem Saod Sabeleh who is a master of dance. Stopping in the town of Azraq they find its famous Oasis and Nature reserve. Finally the ladies start cooking and make a wonderful traditional yoghurt dish with chick peas, broken toasted pita bread, garlic and yoghurt.
Duration: 30'


6  A Date With a Fish

Sophie Grigson and Hanan Samara search out more locations associated with T. E. Lawrence in Ma'an. Here they visit the ancient Hajj fortress, the old railway famous from the David Lean movie and one of Jordan's most famous date estates, Al-Baraka, a family run estate which boasts of some of the best varieties of dates. After cooking there a magnificent date-based meal, the intrepid duo head further south to the deep desert, the area known as Wadi Rum, particularly famous for being the scene of much of Jordan's recent history involving Lawrence of Arabia. Sophie and Hanan meet Salem and his brother who take them on a wild journey through this magical desert kingdom ending in a traditional hole-in-the-ground cooked 'zerb' dinner under the stars.
Duration: 30'


7  The Last Crusade

Sophie Grigson and her country host Hanan Samara explore the area of Petra. To understand better the culture and land, they travel just a few miles north to the Dana Reserve, Jordan's largest nature reserve. And right in the middle of the highest point is the fascinating village of Dana which offers over 500 years of living tradition. But really it is the 'rose red' city of Petra that draws Sophie and Hanan deeper into the rocks and cliffs that make up this famous hidden city. The whole episode leaves a little time for some special Petra cooking as they launch into a roof-top extravaganza.
Duration: 30'


8  Aqaba - Sand, Sun & Sea

Sophie Grigson and Hanan Samara end their Jordanian trip in the famous sea-side town of Aqaba, starting with a tour of the coral reefs in a glass-bottomed boat. Back on dry land they go into town and shop for ingredients for their final cooking scenes, before heading back to the beach to have some fun making the chef's special, Fish Harrah. They then enjoy the lovely old Mameluke Castle and the Plaza of the Great Arab Revolt. Sophie and Hanan then learn about one of the most intriguing forms of art in Jordan, the sand art in bottles. Back on the terrace the ladies cook a final traditional dish before heading off into the sunset in a horse-drawn carriage, or caleche, for a trot around this lovely sea-side town.
Duration: 30'


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