I was inadvertently introduced to lablabi (لبلابي) while walking around Monastir, Tunisia. Some local market workers were taking their lunch break to crowd a small kiosk in the middle of a pedestrian block. Nearly twenty more people got in their orders before I was noticed, even though I was perched in front of the chefs all along. Now that I know the name of the snack, I greatly look forward to wildly mispronouncing lablabi.
Counting chickpeas as the base ingredient, garlic, cumin, and olive oil make up the rest of the vegetarian dish. Piquant harissa – a North African hot sauce made with regional Baklouti peppers is often added on top, and stale bread is used to sop it all up. Olives and pickles are staple accompaniments of this Maghrebi country.