Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Earth market in Hamra

"BEIRUT: If this is the first time you've ever heard of thyme water or mwarraqa - a tasty pastry filled with crushed walnuts and almonds and flavored with rosewater and orange blossom - do not fret, for help has arrived. A new weekly street market in Beirut is now bringing Lebanon's less celebrated gastronomical treats, as well as a more holistic approach to food, to the masses.

Every Tuesday, 15 small-scale food and flower producers set up shop in a narrow alley sandwiched between Radioshack and Bread Republic in Beirut's bustling Hamra district, and sell anything from fresh greens and sweets to soap or traditional cooking pots. The concept of a farmers market is by no means revolutionary, but in Beirut, where the sight of delivery boys handing over bags of cholesterol-packed fast food is as commonplace as the city's noisy traffic jams, Slow Food Beirut's "Earth Market" may well have the potential to change a few people's eating and consumption habits."

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