Saturday, January 16, 2021


 We are so excited to learn about Lebanon next!  There are many things I hope to learn as we journey virtually to each of these places, but gaining a better understanding of the history and people of the Middle East / Levant region is a specific goal I have.  Lebanon is a fantastic introduction to the area.  Located north of Israel and west of Syria, the Lebanese Republic is the most religiously diverse country in the Middle East and has a history that goes back over 7,000 years.

Videos we watched:

There are actually some great virtual tours of locations in Lebanon available online too:
Of course, to top off our country study, we can't miss out on trying the food!  We found a Lebanese restaurant not far from us called Zaatar Lebanese Grill.  I had been keeping a list of the foods mentioned in the videos above to try and make sure we tried those, and luckily this restaurant served almost all of them - yum!

Apologies for the poor pictures - we were so busy eating that we forgot to take anything other than a family pic!  Things we ate:
  • kibbeh - a wheat shell with ground meat inside - near the top of the pic slightly on the right
  • tabbouleh - a finely chopped salad of parsley, cucumber, tomato, olive oil & lemon juice - bowl near the middle of the pic, slightly right
  • fattoush - a green salad with radishes and tomatoes - seen on the plates
  • manoush - a flatbread pizza with various toppings: akawi cheese, lahme (spiced ground beef), zaatar (a spice and olive oil blend), and spinach - in box on bottom right
  • warak arish - grape leaves stuffed with meat and rice - in the clear containers at the very top of the photo
  • several kinds of meat kabobs & rice - the big aluminum contained in the middle
  • hummus - black bowl on the bottom
  • baba ghannouj - roasted eggplant dip with pomegranate seeds on top as a garnish - to the right of the hummus
  • falafel and pita bread
  • Lebanese milk cake - like tres leches cake but garnished with pistachio and rose - not pictured
The kibbeh was a big hit with everyone, and falafel and hummus are always a favorite in our house.  The kids had to stretch themselves a bit with some of the other dishes, especially the warak arish and the spinach manoush, but each dish goes best in conjunction with the others instead of as a standalone.  And my husband and I will happily be eating delicious leftovers all weekend!

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