I first became interested in Lebanese food during an Armenian food night at our Canadian friends’ house in Denver, Colorado, USA. We were a melting pot of cultures and what spurred the evening was David’s Armenian and Lebanese roots. The food was flavorful and interesting, so I checked out a DVD called “Planet Food: Lebanon” from the Evergreen Public Library in Colorado where I worked. I was pleasantly surprised by the upscale restaurants and world class quality of the food found in Beirut and I immediately sent my son in Israel a message, asking what the situation is like there and if he’d be willing to do a culinary trip with me.
“I’d love to, but it’s bad. We won’t be able to get into the country.”
I put it out of my mind until we moved to Texas and I met Mariah: “I grew up with my country’s delicious and healthy Lebanese cuisine. In Lebanon the food IS the culture, as the height and joy of their lives is constant gathering with family and friends for meals and fellowship. I have a Lebanese cookbook and I dream to learn these recipes and make them for my future children. Maybe I could show you my cookbook and you could choose a recipe to try one day. Lebanese food is both so flavorful and healthy. There are similarities with Israeli cuisine.”
“I would love to share my passion with you and cook together. Perhaps we can cook and photograph our way through your book and do a blog series on it together, since I’ll be learning about the food of a country I haven’t explored yet and more than likely will never get the opportunity to do so because of its perils.”
Thus begins a food journey through Lebanon via a cookbook and friends. It once more proves to me that food and travel make friends and bring people together. Hopefully we will cook soon and we’ll be able to share the recipes and photographs with you. Kesak (cheers) until next time.
For more on Lebanese food, see the Foreign Lands section of the blog. Recipes and photos will follow once we start cooking.