Monday, November 22, 2010

Lebanese breakfast cheese

One of the many fascinating discoveries of my trip to the Lebanon last week was the Lebanese breakfasts which - surprisingly for an intensely sweet-toothed country - were mainly savoury and based around cheese. There was usually more than one kind - a salty, feta style one (Akkawi), halloum (like halloumi) and labneh which is not strictly cheese at all but strained yoghurt drizzled with olive oil.

They were served with fresh tomatoes, crunchy strips of cucumber, olives and various kinds of flatbread of which my favourite was mana’eesh or mankoushe, a pizza-style bread which is dusted with za’atar (a mixture of thyme, sumac and sesame seeds) At one winery, Heritage, they also served home-made jams - apricot and a gorgeous fig one flavoured with aniseed.

You can also buy mankoushe on the go when they will roll it up like a wrap. Incredibly cheap at about 90p. And totally delicious.


Helen said...

I cannot tell you how much I adore labneh. I eat it nearly every day for breakfast. I don't miss out on hot buttered toast either though. I just eat it in the evening instead. All bases covered.

Fiona Beckett said...

Must get into making it. But not sure it quite hits the spot in this cold, wintry weather. Feel you need to be sitting outdoors in the sun