The Fertile Land

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The fresh flowers blooming in the spring sway with the grass to the rhythm of the wind. All of this happens so fast, so quickly, no one notices. Here in the valley, lost in their labors, people work this fertile land, alike so open and welcoming, they are. The many vineyards of this valley are like a necklace that adorns her. The sun sits above her at daytime as the stars open up at nighttime. The motionless hills that surround her are like hips altered with age.

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The Poor Man’s Cheese

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Another slow food foundation for the protection of food biodiversity is our very own keshek el foukara (poor man’s cheese). Majdel Zoun is located around ten kilometers from the ancient city of Tyre, a small village of Muslim farmers situated in a dry stony landscape. Their Keshek el fouqara in fact uses no milk, whereas keshek is commonly made with goat’s milk yoghurt.

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The Ruby Jewel of Lebanon

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The pomegranate originated in the region of modern-day Iran and has been cultivated since ancient times throughout the Mediterranean region and northern India. In Lebanon it is typically in season from September to February. Its name derives from Medieval Latin pōmum “apple” and grānātum “seeded”. While the apple usually takes the blame for humanity’s fall from grace, some biblical scholars have suggested that the forbidden fruit of the Bible wasn’t an apple, but this red beauty.

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The Land of Plenty

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Lebanon, which has a variety of agricultural lands, from the interior plateau of the Bequaa valley to the narrow valleys leading downward to the sea, enables farmers to grow all kinds of crop. Tobacco and figs are grown in the south, citrus fruits and bananas along the coast, olives in the north and around the Shouf Mountains, and fruits and vegetables in the Beqaa Valley. More exotic crops include avocados, grown near Byblos. The very rare combination of clay/silty soil, calcareous water, and an average of 300 days of Mediterranean sunshine provides an environment in Lebanon for outstanding full flavoured fruits and vegetables. The fact that Lebanon has an area of 10452 km2 makes it possible for us to eat fresh produce all year long.

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