After the Ottomans were defeated in World War I (1914–1918), France took control of Lebanon until 1946, when the country won its independence.During this time, the French introduced some of their most widely eaten foods, particularly treats such as flan, a caramel custard dessert dating back to the 1500s, and buttery croissants.Muslims (believers of Islam) celebrate several holidays throughout the year, though probably none are as important as the holiday of Ramadan. During the entire ninth month of the Islamic calendar, Muslims avoid all food and drink between sunrise and sunset. From 1516 to 1918, the Ottoman Turks controlled Lebanon and introduced a variety of foods that have become staples in the Lebanese diet, including olive oil, fresh bread, baklava (a sweet pastry dessert), laban (homemade yogurt), stuffed vegetables, and a variety of nuts.
Kibbeh was originally made by harshly pounding the lamb and kneading in the spices and wheat.
As many as forty small dishes are presented at once as either appetizers or as a meal itself.
Hummus (chickpea, sesame seed, and garlic paste), rice and meat wrapped in grape leaves, mashed beans, hot and cold salads, grilled seafood and meats (including kebabs , cooked cubes of lamb, peppers, and onions), and pickled vegetables are most popular.
These foods slowly became part of the Lebanese diet.
As the tribes wandered, they discovered new seasonings, fruits, and vegetables that they could add to their everyday meals.