Friday, May 3, 2013

The 'Taste Lebanon' Project - Delicious Lebanon Revealed

First of May happens to be towards the very end of Mangroves-season, in which you can still harvest these tiny shrubs you see off the shores of Lebanon. We usually buy mangroves' pickled leaves, my dad seems to love them with everything and enjoy them with anything that includes lentils. So this year, I decided to go harvest those shrubs and pickle my own! We went off to the coastal shores of Amchit, North of Lebanon. Many seem to harvest the leaves as shrubs were harvested already, but we managed to find our own. There are different types of mangroves shrubs, we got lucky with some of the semi-immersed ones, those that tolerate salty tidal seawater twice per day.

Nevertheless, this post is not about my mangroves hunting, it's more about our after-harvesting part of the day. We passed by Furn El Sabaya in Amchit, which deserves its own post soon, and bumped into Bethany Kehdy with a small group of tourists. So you see this tiny post is about the amazing (and might I add fun) work Bethany is doing in giving an excellent image about the culinary & cultural life of Lebanon. I have followed Bethany on twitter, kept myself busy with her recipes on Dirty Kitchen Secrets and checked her updates on food blogging conferences, Food Blogger Connectbut the best part of it all is her Taste Lebanon project.

In case you're not familiar with what Taste Lebanon's aim is, this is it.
Bethany Kehdy cooking
Courtesy of MidEats
We were having some fatayer (Lebanese good spinach pies) when Bethany and 3 tourists came in. She introduced them to the place and ordered the place's specials. The group enthusiastically watched how food was prepared and took photos as Bethany explained the whole procedure, what ingredients went in, the way of cooking as well as the cultural background of the food, all in English.

>> That's what Bethany does in Taste Lebanon. She highlights the good, delicious side of Lebanon to tourists from all over the world. Bethany guides tourists on a 7-day culinary trip all over Lebanon. The tours are private, as you see the group we met were just 3. It's a combination of a fun, cultural and super delicious trip. 

Few of the places/food you'll get to experience touring Taste Lebanon [And I got these just by recapping FEW reviews on Taste Lebanon! You might wanna click on those links and check their latest youtube video for savory food!]

Pita bread making
- Falafel making and tasting
- Touristic visits to Baalbeck ruins then heading back to mountain wineries
- Fish markets, seafood restaurants and of course, swimming!
- Beehives and honey making
- Saj bread preparation
- Lebanese sweets making (such as baklava, middle eastern pastries & mwaraqa)
- Wild-thyme farms (that I've never been to)
- Lunches with full Lebanese meze
- Authentic chicken and kebab lunches
- Breakfast options you can have in Lebanon >> labne, manakich, croissants, yum!
- Ice cream tasting
- Arak tasting
- Kaak making
- Maamoul making
- Pita bread making
- Orange flower water making

- Beef/lamb meat market / Sheep for dinner!
- Kibbe preparation (I'm sure by now you know you'll taste those too!)
- And the best of all, tours around old authentic Lebanese old souks and street markets!

If you love learning about and tasting good food, you will be drooling. I couldn't but link all those photos. You can check David Lebovitz posts on his latest tour with Bethany and many more here. I couldn't stop reading the tourists feedback about how easy it was to go around the whole country with Bethany while having all the amazing culinary experiences I haven't had in my own country, makes me want to re-organize my to-do list! Of course, there's a lot to do in such a short period of time so not all the culinary trips I mentioned can fit into one visit I guess. As Bethany explains, tours may differ from one time to another.
All I know is that if I were a tourist, I would want to have this delicious trip. So if you know similar (as cool & as delicious!!) trips around Europe or Asia, I beg thee to link me!


  1. Wow I love this idea. The photos look amazing and this looks so fun. Thank you for linking me - P

  2. This looks so good! I had no idea this is what she does. It is nice to have a beautiful job that is delicious in the same time.

  3. Definitely on my bucket-list