Monday, September 24, 2007

Manoucheh news

Manoucheh is the ubiquitous breakfast of the Lebanese. It is basically flat bread dough topped with a mix of Zaatar (thyme mix) and oil and baked. It can also be made with cheese or other toppings, but this is a recent variation. My own estimates are that between 250,000 and 400,000 manouchehs are sold daily in Lebanon. It is also the breakfast, lunch and the snack of the poor, especially unskilled laborers because it is cheap. Was cheap.

The price of manoucheh is increasing with the increase in the cost of living in Lebanon. The price of the manoucheh has increased by 50%, we are told in this article. The manoucheh vendors (who can be really small scale) accuse the traders of hoarding food commodities and to increase their price. apparently, the price of the manoucheh ingredients has increased as follows during the last month: 50 kg of (imported) flour: from 26,000LL to 45,000LL; gas from 35,000LL to 49,000 LL per 35 kg; dry yeast (9 kg) from 27,000LL to 37,000LL; (Soy) oil (15 kg) increased by 12,000LL; cheese (14 kg) from 52,500LL to 83,000LL.

And while we're at it, please note how the most popular, most traditional national breakfast of Lebanon does not have one single ingredient that is produced in Lebanon.


Leila said...

Not even the za'atar? Where is the za'atar from? For shame!

Anonymous said...

quand même le thym et l'huile sont libanais, Non?


Rami Zurayk said...

Mea culpa, yes the thyme is Lebanese(but not the oil as it is usually cheap US soy oil- from GMO soya). But you must know that the lowest quality thyme za'atar is used. It includes some za'tar leaves (from Lebanon), twigs that are milled fine, bran (nkhaleh), green and red artificial coloring, citric acid to replace sumac, and imported sesame seeds (commonly from China, but can also be from Syria or Turkey). So it is only fractions of a gram of Lebanese product. Hence my oversight.