Tunisia needs to start claiming their things for their own. I say this because there were 3 things that I saw on my trip to Tunisia that I already knew about but I never associated it with Tunisia.
1) Star Wars culture. I don’t mean the plot twists, dialogue and fight scenes. I mean the basic DNA of Star Wars was very clearly inspired by Tunisia. The names of towns basically taken from Tunisia unchanged. I mean Luke Walker’s home planet was named Tataouine, after a real Tunisian city. We went to visit the site that was used as Luke Skywalker’s home in Matmata, a small village in southern Tunisia. Today, it’s a hotel where you can stay overnight or just stopover to have lunch.
Speaking of lunch…. this leads me nicely into my next two items that I believe that Tunisia should publicly reclaim.
2) Harissa. This hot chili pepper paste was my favorite item I learned to make from the Moroccan cooking class I took years ago. I was surprised to learn that it was originally Tunisian and that the Moroccans adopted it into their cooking much later.
3) Olive Oil. This is a big one. Tunisia is the third largest exporter of olive oil. The reason we don’t really know this is that they’ve been selling their olive oil to Italy or Spain in bulk where it’s mixed with local oils and sold under Italian & Spanish brand names. For a country that is one-third covered with olive groves (95% of which are organic), it’s only in recent years that they’ve started selling Tunisian olive oil under Tunisian brand names. With olive oil as such an integral part of Tunisian lives and their history, the olive oil here is strong, tasty, and of very high quality. I’m so happy to see that Tunisian producers have started finally winning global awards.
A country is so full of surprises, I can’t wait to come back and I’m inviting you to come back with me! I’m putting together a small group trip and I would love for you to join!
As the smallest country in North Africa, the diversity of landscape and things to see is amazing. In about a week to 10 days, you can see the ruins of Carthage, drive over sand dunes to abandoned Star Wars sets in the middle of the desert, hike over dry river beds that lead to hidden oasis, you can visit larger oasis to see how dates are picked and also eat the best fresh dates that I’ve ever tasted! We will visit Berber mountain villages perched in the Altas mountains to buy handwoven carpets, drive across Chott el Djerid, the largest salt pan that you can walk over in the Saharan Desert as well as swim in the bright blue Mediterranean waters off the beaches of Djerba before exploring the souks to buy beautiful handmade Tunisian pottery.
Come join me by filling out the form below! By below I mean, after all the beautiful photos of Tunisia!
Come travel with me on this Tunisian adventure by filling out the form below!
For more about what it’s like in Tunisia (and even a video!), check out my friends’ We Run The Atlas’ blog post about our trip out there!