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Breakfast in Lebanon

 

 
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Breakfast in Lebanon
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Joined: 09 Mar 2007
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Breakfast

Food dilemmas begin very early in Lebanon. In fact, they start with your first meal: breakfast. At home, breakfast is simple affair: a plate of labneh (strained yoghurt) drowned in olive oil and eaten with some Lebanese flat bread, mint and tomatoes. You can also add zaatar (wild thyme). If eggs are your thing, then order baiid baladi, fresh farm eggs, fried in olive oil or if you’re not afraid of increasing your cholesterol levels, cooked with awarma (preserved meat fat). The latter was the kind of hearty dish, people in the mountain would eat to last them a day in the fields. Another mountain dish is keshek soup (fermented and dried yoghurt mixed with burgul) garnished with a generous amount of cooked garlic. The adventurous non-veggie types can try lahme nayieh, raw meat or asbeh nayieh, raw liver served with a glass of arak. If you happen to be in the souk around breakfast time, then eat like the locals: a bowl of foul (fava beans salad), hummus or fatteh (chickpeas and yoghurt mix). Those with a sweet tooth, can swap the fava and chickpeas for knefeh, a thin crispy layer of mafrouk a kind sweet dough over melting white cheese, in a syrup soaked bread.

Still the king of breakfast is manouche, which you could compare to a kind of thin pizza covered with a zaatar (wild thyme) and olive oil. You can often choose to have your manouche baked in the oven, which usually comes out slightly thicker, or on a saj, a semi globe shaped heating plaque. Today you can order all kinds of manouche. Instead of zaatar, you can ask for cheese such as keshek, sausages and several other toppings.

Extract from the book 'A Complete insiders Guide to Lebanon
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