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eG Foodblog: Hassouni (2012) - Beirut and beyond


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Safe travels, Hassouni! What a glorious ride you've taken us on! This is a blog I'll return to again and again.

My thoughts exactly. And now I have a better road map for attempting an authentic Lebanese feast now that I see how it's done on and around the streets of lovely Beirut, better than any cook book.

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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My last few hours in Beirut, spent at the airport, where there isn't much ready to eat but there sure is a lot of food at the shops in the terminal:

Al-Rifai: An internationally famous Lebanese roaster chain, specializing in nuts, coffee, and other treats:


Individually wrapped chocolates

Nuts of all types:



non-chocolate sweets:


Raw nuts, etc:


Overview of the shop:


Next - Goodies, which is a well known upmarket supermarket on Verdun Street (near our flat) specializing mostly in non-Lebanese things, as well as really good Lebanese food:



cheeses - kashkawan, halloum, and many other kinds

next to it is 'Abd al-Rahman Hallab, the outpost of Lebanon's most famous sweets shop, founded in Tripoli in 1881, and imitated across the country with numerous other Abdul-So-and-So Hallabs. This one is the best. The last time I went was last May, and God, they have everything - baqlawa, knafeh, stretchy Arabic ice cream, 'osmaliyye, you name it - and they execute it perfectly.



Next up, Douaihy, another well known sweet shop:



Bye bye Beirut:


(that's the whole city sticking out into the sea)

My friend whose birthday we celebrated the other night gave me a wrapped package from Boshali, yet another sweet shop, this time based in Beirut. Got home to open up my luggage, unwrapped it, and found:



So that's it for new content. Thanks so much for all your interests and comments - I have to say, I should have done this last year, when I had more friends in town and was going out a lot more often - you would have seen even more Lebanese delights, but oh well! Please feel free to ask more questions.

Edited by Hassouni (log)
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PS the funny thing about baqlawa and other similar sweets is that they seem to get better as they age! Honestly, I feel they get crispier and juicier after a few days.

Edit: once the thread is closed, please feel free to ask me whatever you want in the Middle East Cooking thread, the Lebanon dining thread, or by PM!

Edited by Hassouni (log)
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And olives just sitting on a stone fence. No idea what they were doing there!


Er, getting stoned? (Sorry, couldn't resist!) Thanks for a great blog; now I'm hungry! :wink:

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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This was a great week with some tremendous insights into the food culture in the middle east. Thank you so much for your effort!

There is no love more sincere than the love of food - George Bernard Shaw
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