"Just beyond the village is a fertile valley where most of the area's agricultural produce used to be grown. When I was a child, we used to run through the valley and play under the dozens of fruit trees that dot the land - farmers always welcomed the children and allowed us to eat as much fruit as we wanted. During the occupation, however, the valley became a strategic military point for the Israelis, and all the trees were burned down and the entire land mined. When I saw the barren land after 20 years, I could barely speak. Today, the valley has finally been declared free of mines and farmers are slowly returning to sow and plant trees once again.
Southern Lebanon is considered the poor area of the country. In culinary terms, this means that people eat solely what they grow. Over the years, they developed their own specialities and, unbeknown to them, they hit upon wholesome and organic meals that the upper classes of the city are now trying to include in their own diets. As meat is an expensive treat, villagers depend on crushed wheat as the filler in many meals. The word kibbet signifies anything made with crushed wheat."
Another great article on food, farming and people from south Lebanon by Nayla Zein Audi. (See next post)