Lebanon reigns supreme when it comes to food and wine, there is no doubt about that.
The country has received international recognition for pleasing tourists' taste buds, the latest of which comes from renowned American business magazine, Forbes.
In a two-part article published this week, Forbes contributor Lauren Mowery speaks about her trip to Lebanon, which she dubs as "The Greatest Food And Wine Country You've Never Visited."
"I'd discover that the wine and culinary scene of Lebanon boasted an outsize personality wholly out of proportion to its diminutive size," writes Mowery.
Mowery, a journalist, photographer and award-winning blogger, visited Lebanon for nine days to explore the wines of the country, only to discover the gem that is Lebanese cuisine.
She tried it all, from having dinner at Em Sherif and indulging in Tawlet's open buffet, to sipping wine at Château Ksara and Château Kefraya.
Her verdict? "The last nine days in Lebanon had been strange, but in an unfamiliar and surprising way," she writes.
She explains that the country is "a messy place" but its "true heart" always prevails.
Naturally, she was more than impressed with the food
Mowery describes Lebanese cuisine as the "definition of a culinary crossroads."
How? "Lebanese food reflected the sophistication and subtlety of Western-European cooking yet carried the spices and flavors of the Middle East," she explains.
She adds that the country is "a paradise for vegetarians" and its cuisine is rather healthy had it not been for Lebanese hospitality that knows no bounds.
"It would've been healthy if I could've stopped eating, but Lebanese hospitality considered the empty plate of a guest a veritable crime of etiquette," she writes.
Mowery found Lebanese people to be really friendly
"It was deep on a Saturday night in Gemmayzeh that I understood Lebanese openness," she writes.
"A key metric of any city is the friendliness of strangers, and I met more on the streets of Beirut in a few hours than I have in New York City in a year."
She found that striking up conversations with strangers in Lebanon was easy rather than awkward, explaining that they seemed interested in knowing about her background and the reasons behind her visit.
"Beirut operates with kinks and quirks, but it runs"
In her article, Mowery notes the Lebanese population's flair for rising above hardships.
"Despite the vicious tenacity of war, daily life in Beirut goes on," she explains.
She goes on to pay tribute to the "strength and persistence of its people, many who adhered to their values through times of strife."
"Beneath all the chaos of a country trying to modernize with little planning or restriction, subject to what some call a thinly veiled multi-theocracy, lies the true heart of Lebanon: its generous people, their hospitable culture, their curiosity, openness, and enthusiasm for sharing their rich traditions of food and drink," writes Mowery.