Saturday, March 8, 2008

Edible landscape

"The tall Lebanese mountains capture the rain clouds from the sea, endowing Lebanon with exceptional water resources and enriching local biodiversity. The mountains also contribute to creating microclimates that range from the warm Mediterranean to the sub-alpine in the summit region. This results in great floral diversity and in the ability to extend the production seasons of most crops by moving along the altitudinal gradient. The mountains offer the opportunity for effective transhumance of small ruminants (goats and sheep). These can graze on the coast or on the Bekaa in winter, and migrate to higher altitudes in the summer. This has contributed to promoting the rearing of sheep and goats, especially in areas, such as the Anti-Lebanon, where rainfall is insufficient for productive farming.

Wheat and bread, sheep and goat milk and cheeses, grapes and carob are foods that originate from the interaction of history, ecology and geography. They form the cornerstone of the Lebanese food traditions. They are the alimentary expression of the landscape. "

From my article on Lebanese traditional foods published in Slow Food magazine

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