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Lebanese chefs promote frikeh globally

11-9-2019

In its issue of today, L’Orient Le Jour featured the expansion of the traditional Lebanese dish, Frikeh, around the world. It cited headlines from foreign magazines, namely, Vogue, Le Figaro and the New York Times, reflecting the interest of world chefs who tend to promote this product as a wholefood healthy recipe. L’Orient Le Jour, quoted an NYT columnist who wrote that he discovered Frikeh while browsing a book on Islamic culinary art by Lebanese Anisa Hilou, who devoted a section for the distinctive qualities of Frikeh. The newspaper spotlighted chef, Joe Barza, and the food specialist, Kamal Mozawak, founder of the Souk el Tayyib project, both Lebanese, who introduced this product in various international culinary festivals, in France, Budapest and Monaco. On this subject, the newspaper spoke to Mohamad Ali Naameh, better known as Abu Qassem, who produces Frikeh in his southern town of Zawtar al Sharkiyeh. Abu Qassem explained the basics of making the Frikeh which is passed on in the family. “You plant the wheat in January and harvest it green in April after which comes the burning process”, he says. One should be very careful when burning the crop to avoid its oxidation, he said. Afterwards, the grains are sorted by rubbing manually, hence the name Frikeh, which comes from the Arabic word, rubbing, Abu Qassem boasted. (L’Orient Le Jour, September 11, 2019)

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