What could possibly be better on a hot Summer day? I tried many versions of this minted lemonade, a very popular drink at all the chic cafés in Beirut and finally just thought of making of lemony syrup as a starting point. The great advantage is that is can be prepared ahead of time, […]
Sahlab is the name of a popular drink in Lebanon. It was introduced here by the Ottomans who ruled the region for four centuries. That is why one can find it served at cafés in Istanbul as well as in Beirut. It is made by stirring milk with some sugar and a whitish powder […]
I posted this image on the blog’s Facebook page, just to see how many people would respond to it. Initially I thought it was only an Eastern Mediterranean (Turkey) and Middle-Eastern drink; turns out it is popular in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, even in parts of China.
In Lebanon, it is called ayran and most people buy […]
The Holy Month of Ramadan is just around the corner. Normally during that time, stores in Beirut ( Middle-Eastern ones in the US and Canada) fill-up with traditional juices, such as tamarind, jellab, amardeen (apricot), all known to be hearty and nutritious.
There were a couple of carob trees in the orchard and Salah (gentleman […]
A delicious drink made from dried hibiscus flowers. I was gifted with a bunch from my gentleman-farmer friend Salah from Egypt. The taste is tangy and fruity, similar to cranberry flavor. I like to sweeten it and I drink it almost every day, either hot or cold.
Hibiscus tea is supposed to be very healthy […]
This delicious syrup is made with the juice of Seville oranges (busfeyr) and sugar. Now is the season for these types of oranges, which are prized in Lebanon (and the Eastern Mediterranean in general) for their sweet and sour flavor. Their season is short, so folks would either freeze their juice or make this […]
In the mountains, the rules are different; barter, for instance, is still practiced. Our mulberry tree mysteriously refused to give us any fruit for ten years on; our neighbor has the tree that keeps on giving; we help ourselves and she gets our peaches and eggplants (and cucumbers, etc).
Her mother, an energetic 89-year-old, […]
This infusion is popular in Iraq; it is made by seeding the noomi Basra or dried limes and simmering the peels in water for 15 to 30 minutes; drain and sweeten. Apparently it helps with tummy aches and digestive issues.
I did not have the patience of seeding the limes, I simply poked each in […]
It has been my privilege to befriend Philippe and Saidé, people I consider Salt of the Earth: Seasoned farmers (for generations) in the Lebanese mountains. They raised six beautiful children, all grown and gone to live an urban life in Beirut or in North America. Here they are, left with an intimate knowledge of nature and […]
Nettle is a wild herb that stings; it grows everywhere and people pretty much leave it alone. It has however extraordinary properties and in the Shouf region in Lebanon, people forage it and make a distilled water with the leaves to drink as a tea with some hot water and a sweetener. Taste is […]