A farmer’s market in Lebanon

June 14, 2010  •  Category:


Souk el-tayeb was the first organized farmer’s market in Lebanon and the brainchild ofKamal Mouzawak; this  Sunday, it took place in Hammana, a beautiful village nestled in the valley and surrounded by mountains and cliffs at an altitude of 3500 feet, about 20 miles from Beirut.

Hammana’s  cherry festival took place today.

A chance for folks in Hammana to sell cherries from their gardens and orchards and for producers all over to display and sell their organic foodstuffs.

The market started around noon (Lebanese are not early risers) and ended Lebanese-style, with people dancing the traditional dabké and singing in the townsquare.

Gave us a chance to sample Hammana’s unique  fassoulia (bean) dishes; fresh country-style flatbread called markook, fattoush, kibbe, and many other foods and discover the surrounding area with its old churches, ottoman-era homes, cascades, cliffs, mountains and valley.



64 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Katerina says:

    I’ve been to Morocco twenty years ago and I have visited souks in many of its cities. I do not know if in Lebanon is the same, but I still remember the narrow passes and the air full of spice smells and voices. It was a life-time experience. I loved that trip.

  2. Priya says:

    Thanks a lot for this virtual treat, very pleasing and pleasant farmers market..

  3. rosa says:

    What a beautiful market! Those cherries are splendid. Thanks for sharing!



  4. Sonia says:

    I love all these pictures, Thanks for sharing your surrounding area, those cherries are very fresh and beautiful.

  5. noobcook says:

    nice photos… and the cherries look really fresh!

  6. Angie's Recipes says:

    The cherries are so fresh! Flatbread is huge!

  7. recettes gourmandes says:

    Ses photos sont splendide, j’aime beaucoup et crois moi , on ne voit pas souvent ses belles cerise et cette ambiance qui donne chaud au coeur, merci joumana pour le partage et pour ce voyage , tu me donnes de plus en plus envie de visiter cet endroit, merci ma belle.

  8. Sridevi says:

    Lovely pictures. Cherry looks sweet and super delicious.

  9. Ivy says:

    Can you send some of those kibbe to Greece please?

  10. T.W. Barritt says:

    Thank you for sharing this visit to the farmers market in Hammana. What gorgeous cherries! Sometimes we act as though the farmer’s market is a new invention, and forget that it has been the center of communities for generations. In fact, pictures like yours help connect communities as well. We all eat, and we all appreciate beautiful produce.

  11. Anita says:

    Joumana, Thank you so much for all the beautiful pictures…. makes me homesick for all the things that Lebanon offers and all the delicious bounty available in the summer. Can’t wait to visit 🙂

  12. Sue Stephens says:

    Oh my goodness what glossy huge black cherries! They look really sumptuous. We have a red cherry tree which is a wild one in the hedge. Last year we managed to get to the crop before the birds and they were delicious.

  13. Samantha Angela says:

    Oh how beautiful!
    Your pictures are great. I particularly like the photos of the man making bread.

    That sounds like a really amazing event 😀

  14. elra says:

    Everything make me drool. Love the look of that kubbeh, and the cherries are beautiful. Must tastes very sweet.

  15. Lea Ann says:

    Look at those beautiful cherries. Loved seeing all the photos.

  16. Rachana says:

    Beautiful Photos! Those cherries are lovely!

  17. 12th Man says:

    got me thinking … there are cycling tours and trekking tours and wine tasting tours and all manner of trips and tours and travel packages that one can sign up for … but a farmer’s market tour … that sounds like something i’d throw down my mastercard for!!

  18. Lyndsey says:

    Thanks for the clicks! I love seeing other farmer’s markets, especially around the world! That’s funny is starts so late, our farmer’s market ends at noon. The cherries in the first photo are awesome, they look like the size of plums. Traverse City Michigan has their cherry festival July 3-10 I sure miss having good cherries. I Florida they just don’t taste the same.

    All the food looked so good, and what a beautiful setting!

  19. Doc says:

    You are making Lebanon a must see destination! What are the flatbreads being cooked on the griddle?

    • Joumana says:

      @Doc: the flatbread is called markook; it is made with whole wheat and is almost translucent; used to make sandwiches (roll-up style)

  20. FOODESSA says:

    Joumana…you fortunate soul. How great it must be not only to be back in your hometown…but to be able to re-experience all that beauty and aroma from such a fantastic market. I’m so really envious right now. Those cherries can’t be that deep colored…did you paint them ? LOL.
    I’ve never been to Lebanon…so thank you for sharing a wonderful piece of where you come from.
    Continue safely along your well deserved vacation.
    Flavourful wishes, Claudia

  21. Suman Singh says:

    WOW…such a beautiful looking cherries…so fresh..mmm…wonderful market…lovely pics…

  22. SYLVIA says:

    Those healthy black cherries look lushes, I wish I could grab a handful, and sink my teeth in them. It is in my vivid memory how my cousin dabke’d with famous Fayrouz for years in the sixties and won the title of Miss Beirut. Enjoy your visit Joumana.

  23. Camille says:

    Wow, those cherries in the top photo are HUGE! I love the lebanese flatbread cooked on the dome-shaped skillet (sorry I don’t know the real names). There’s a place in Paris near the Centre Pompidou that makes them, and they’re delicious!

  24. Louise says:

    Mmmmmm….Goodness. Those cherries look delectable and sweet. I sure wish there was dancing at out farmer’s market:)

    Thanks for sharing, Joumana…

  25. Amber @Almost Vegan says:

    What a fun glimpse into the culture and atmosphere over there.

  26. shayma says:

    I had been waiting for this post, Joumana. and i love it. x shayma

  27. fimère says:

    tu nous présentes de superbes photos qui en disent très long
    un beau partage
    bonne soirée

  28. nisha says:

    oh my…look at the cherries…im freaking out on them here

  29. rebecca says:

    I want to go to Lebanon looks lovely

  30. Coconut Raita says:

    Cherries are my favourite fruit – this festival looks like my idea of heaven… Fabulous post as ever.

  31. Cooking with Kait says:

    The market sounds like so much fun especially with singing at the end. The cherries look amazing!

  32. SweetOnVeg says:

    I thought Priya described your post perfectly as a ‘virtual treat’. Lovely photos! And I’m reeeally craving cherries now! 🙂

  33. Faith says:

    Cherries are one of the reasons (if not the main reason 😉 ) I long for summer! They look fantastic!

  34. heguiberto says:


    I am all jealous here lol
    Those dark red cherries look amazing.
    I just read an article on Gastronomica about a restaurant in this area, I’d love to go someday:
    Tawlet Souk ek Tayeb
    Beirut, sector 79
    Naher Street, #12 (Jisr el hadid)
    Chalhoub, #22 – Ground level

    Have you been? The article made a glowing review of the place.



  35. Laura says:

    Wow, amazing pics. What a beautiful place. I want to dive into those cherries.

  36. Krista says:

    Amazing photos, Joumana! I LOVE these pictures! You’ve so beautifully captured the feel and smells of this event. 🙂 SO glad you got to be there for this. 🙂

  37. 5 Star Foodie says:

    A fun market especially for the cherry festival!

  38. Lazaro says:

    I love a day at a farmers market. A great way to educate the younger ones about where their food comes from.

    Great photos.


  39. Sara says:

    Loved the pictorial of the markets! Cherries look Amazing!!

  40. Barbara Bakes says:

    How wonderful! I wish I could have joined you. Fresh cherries are my favorite.

  41. Devaki says:

    Dear Joumana – Just looking at the pics you can see how rich and overflowing with culture for generations past. In so many ways, within humdrum of modernity life stands still and I am so grateful for this is our old civilizations.

    The market, the way the bread is being made, takes me back to my hometown. What a beautiful market and what beautiful people 🙂

    Ciao, Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  42. Eve@CheapEthnicEatz says:

    I would so love to be exploring this market along side you. What a treat. I love cherries so it would be heaven now.

  43. Vanessa says:

    You make me want to book a trip to the Lebanon now. Such inspiring coulours and food and those huge piles of cherries. I can only imagine how wonderful the atmosphere there is and the beauty of the surroundings.

  44. john@heneedsfood says:

    This is such a glorious post and makes me yearn for travelling to such beautiful parts of the world. This region looks and sounds amazing, and those cherries!

  45. citronetvanille says:

    Oh quel beau marché! et surtout les cerises, oh la la, je crois que j’en ferai une indigestion, ca donne vraiment envie d’aller faire un tour au Liban. Ca ressemble à une grosse crêpière la plaque de cuisson du pain (ou de la grande galette), c’est le pain Libanais?

  46. 3hungrytummies says:

    oh what great skill to be able to make such bread!
    Love to visit such a market!

  47. grace says:

    this calls for a road (and plane) trip! what gorgeous cherries. 🙂

  48. mylittleexpatkitchen says:

    Such wonderful images! Love how the guy opens and stretches and flips the bread!
    And the cherries, spectacular!

  49. tigerfish says:

    OH, look at those cherries, loads of them 🙂
    Do you find a variety of cherries there?

  50. Dana says:

    Look at those cherries! They’re huge! I’d love to get my hands on some of those. Do you know what variety they are?

  51. Rajani says:

    love the photographs! wish i could have been a part of this. what’s the man making? it looks like a bread we make in india. fantastic concept!

  52. pigpigscorner says:

    Oh my..what great looking cherries!

  53. Mari's Cakes says:

    The Oval shaped bulgar wheat, i believe is what we call here Kipes. I have the recipe in my blog, it one of favorite all times snacks. Kipes Recipe

  54. Lentil Breakdown says:

    These photos are fantastic! I am so excited seeing all this! Love the olives in the hands, the man in the dark blue, and the t-shirt that says NO MONEY, NO HONEY is funny!!

  55. A Canadian Foodie says:

    That was not enough! Where is the rest! The cherries look amazing and your photos are only whetting my taste bud and curiosity. I LOVE outdoor markets.

  56. OysterCulture says:

    This farmers market looks to be a true culinary adventure. Delights at every turn. What a wonderful time you must be having.

  57. Mimi says:

    Fantastic! Thanks for taking me with you.

  58. vagn says:

    This is great!!!

  59. heni says:

    Those cherries are to die for! even the ones here do not look that deep red! lovely food there in Lebanon it seems!

  60. Patty Price says:

    Thanks for the visit to the Souk-el-tayeb, it looks like a great stop to make on a trip to Lebanon, I appreciate your post, I don’t know if I’ll ever visit the market but I can always dream of travels to exotic places, thanks for sharing!

  61. soraya says:

    Magnifiques fruits!! et quelle couleur ! leur taille est équivalente à la taille du coeur des libanais.Et si le libanais n’est pas un lève-tôt alors j’ai enfin trouvé le pays oû je devrais vivre! Rien ne m’agace plus que le fameux proverbe français:” le monde est à ceux qui se lèvent tôt”.Merci à toi Joumana pour la petite visite. à bientôt.Soraya

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