Village Food in Lebanon – BIG POT MOUNTAIN COOKING in Shouf | Middle Eastern Food!

Village Food in Lebanon – BIG POT MOUNTAIN COOKING in Shouf | Middle Eastern Food!


– Good morning. Hope you’re having a good day. It’s Mark Wiens. I’m in the Shouf Mountain
Reserve area of Lebanon and today we are going to eat
some of the traditional food, and learn about the
culture from this area, as well as we are going to
visit the Biosphere Reserve, home to the cedars of Lebanon, and I know we’re going to eat a lot of fresh, local produce. It’s going to be a fantastic day. I’m going to share
everything, as it unfolds, with you today in this video. (upbeat music) – And right behind me, this
is where we slept last night. This is a wooden house, fully built, almost fully of pine, I believe. Really nice place, overlooking
the entire mountain. The view is stunning. The first thing this morning, we’re coming to the garden
to pick some vegetables for breakfast and Cezar has some really nice vegetables growing fresh. Yeah, that’s going to be great. And then we’re going to cook and eat breakfast first thing today. This is a whole self-sustaining farm. They have vegetables growing, they have livestock;
chickens, goats, sheep, and we’re going to collect
some eggs now for breakfast. But they also have
horses, they have donkeys. Nice. Yeah, those eggs are beautiful. You can tell they are real eggs by the way that they’re different sizes, different colors, not perfect. And real eggs, I mean just
organic, local, fresh. We walked down to the guesthouse now and mom is going to be making breakfast, the fresh eggs that we’ve brought, and also the herbs, the
vegetables that we’ve just picked. The thing she’s making is fresh ful, which are fava beans. She mashed up some
garlic and some olive oil and some salt and then
squeezed in some fresh lemon. You can smell the lemon
and now the beans go in. And she’s just kind of mashing and stirring at the same time. All sitting down for breakfast now, got the different side dishes, the ful and then eggs
cooked in the clay pans. Plus the fresh vegetables that we picked. – Beans, you want some? – And now we’ll put the
olive oil on the food. – You always have to add
more olive oil to the ful. You’ve got to have olive oil, and then I’m just going
to add some of those eggs right to my bowl of ful. Even though it has a lot of olive oil, it doesn’t taste too rich or too oily. It’s subtle, the olive oil is subtle. Oh yeah, the eggs are wonderful. You can taste the freshness
of them, the quality, then I’m going to add some
of the vegetables directly to my, or maybe I should
put them on the bread then, eat it with the ful. Got some mint, got some rocca in here, and maybe some of those chicory leaves. – The local lebany, some mint, some za’atar. – This is a mountain-style bite. The local lebany in
bread with mint leaves, with za’atar; za’atar is
one of my favorite things, and olive oil. Very good. It highlights the lebany. Breakfast was delicious. From here, we’re going to
drive across the mountain. Well, through the valley across the mountain that we can see. And that’s where the biosphere
of the cedars of Lebanon are located in the Shouf. And then we’ll go around from there, we’ll go around this entire Shouf area and visit some of the different places, some of the villages, some of the people, some of the food. (upbeat music) – So, we drove up to the
top of the mountain area and there’s a small hike that we’re going to do in the reserve. This is the Barouk Cedar Forest. The cedars in this area
are thousands of years old. You can see the branch,
like this whole base area, multiple huge stumps coming
out of the base of it. And just look at the branches
that just reach out like arms, just a canopy of cedar, a canopy of shade and the aromas of the pine here. The tradition is this is the oldest, this tree is called The Old Lady, which is a huge cedar tree, and the tradition is to hold
hands all the way to hug. We made it, there’s the connection. We made it, we hugged The
Old Lady, all the way. Success. Possibly, this is the exact
tree on the flag of Lebanon. Because it’s a similar shape. (upbeat music) – So from the biosphere, from the reserve, the cedars reserve, we
drove across the ridge and we’re in another valley, gorgeous valley with fruit trees. It’s lush, you can hear the water flowing and this is a special place where they, their story is, it’s three
brothers who have created some very unique, respected sculptures, and then open to the public
certain times of the year to view the sculptures,
as well as the property and the nature. – Those are abstract sculptures. When we say abstract, directly,
we remember Hilma af Klint, the Swedish painter who makes
the first painting, 1905. She makes the first
painting as an abstract. So the house is built
using natural materials, everything available here,
we use it in our building. – There’s so many, what a craft, such genius ideas and a
whole eco-friendly house. This is an amazing tree, it’s
like an upside down hedge. We’re going to have a cup of coffee here. Look at this, I don’t
even know how they it, they just trimmed it perfectly, keeping that trim perfect. A fresh basket of the mulberries. That is so sweet and so juicy. I love that texture on
the outside of them. (upbeat music) – We’re back at Cezar’s Guesthouse now where we’re going to cook lunch, some of the local dishes, and she’s now rolling up
some of the warak enab, which is the stuffed grape leaves, one of my favorite things in this region. It’s a mixture of parsley
with tomatoes with rice and a dressing, olive oil and,
I know, many other things, but then she fills it
up into a little roll, wraps it up and then
that’s going to be cooked. But the grape leaves are already, they’re already cured,
kind of pickled already. She’s also making kibbeh,
one type of kibbeh, which is the oval, American
football shaped kibbeh. And she did that so fast. So the mixture, it’s a
mixture of minced meat plus bulgur wheat, the outside. And she molded it into a hollow little cup with a cone at the bottom, and then filled it up with a mixture. It’s minced meat with
pine nuts, I believe, and some spices, especially allspice, filled it up with that and then closed it into a point as well, so you
have points on either end. But she did that so fast,
it was like 20 seconds and she made one. (upbeat music) – So much experience wrapping both the warak enab and the kibbeh. But she does it so fast,
and such precision, everything she makes is
the exact same size too. Like she knows perfectly in
her head, in her feeling, the size to make them; they’re all equal. This is the type of kibbeh
that’s deep-fried, fried in oil. So, as soon as she sticks
them into the oil though, you can immediately start
to smell the spice come out, especially the, like a nutmeg,
really a nutmeg aroma to it, like all types of kibbeh
includes that spice mixture. Yeah, that smells really good. (sizzling oil) – I was wondering what
was in that big pot, so we just opened it and this
aroma of like sweet spices. This is a dish that I’ve been
waiting for called harees and it’s almost like a, is it like a stew or soup? Kind of like a soup. It’s a stew, it’s a
stew, because it’s made with this type of wheat. Made with this type of wheat, which is the main grain in there. And then those are like huge,
I believe cow bones in there, plus, with the meat also,
that just starts to tenderize, because it’s cooked for 12 hours. And then also with a
unique blend of spices, which she has in a bag, which
includes cardamom, cinnamon, you can smell all the sweet spices. And she’s going to take it out of the bag just so we can see what spices she used. The aroma of those spices
that she’s unloading, it smells like a potpourri mix. It’s amazing. The cardamom, there’s
clove, there’s ginger, there’s, I believe, maybe
bay leaves, cinnamon, and then I’m not sure what this one is. This one is like a. – Galangal. – Galangal. It smells like cinnamon too. It smells though maybe
it’s taken on the aroma of the cinnamon sticks. It’s a nice mix, a lot of sweet spices, but also the ginger in there. That harees is actually going
to be for dinner tonight, whereas the kibbeh and the warak enab is going to be for lunch, because that still needs to cook for another six hours or a while. The meat is just going
to melt into the wheat, into that soupy liquid. She is a master. For lunch, also, she is
making a rice dish, Kabseh. It almost does look like a biryani, like a spiced rice. So she’s mixed in,
there’s peppers in there, there’s tomatoes. And then she’s boiled
some chicken along with the spices, cardamom and ginger, and now she’s adding that to the rice. So then she puts all that
broth from the chicken and those spices into the rice. And then she says she’s going to cook it for another 15 minutes. That is, it’s not a dish I would think of when I’m thinking of Labanese food. That is awesome, I can’t wait to try it. We’re going to have a
whole platter of the kibbeh later for lunch, but
I’ve got to taste test in the kitchen. Hot and fresh. One of the greatest things of Lebanon. They’re so good; the pine nuts, you crunch on the pine nuts, the onions, the allspice, the nutmeg,
the crunchy outer layer. It’s a meat wheat wrapper,
stuffed with meat. I’ve been in Lebanon for about ten days and this is my first time to eat rice, but they say rice is
commonly eaten at home, but not often served at restaurants. So this is a really home cooked meal. – So this is the kabseh:
rice, vegetables and chicken with some cashew nuts and onions. – Thank you. – Who wants some kabseh? – Oh wow, that’s delicious. Immediately taking the bite,
you can smell the spices. Maybe cinnamon, maybe
the cardamom in there and turmeric, I believe. That’s like a biryani
toned down in spices, but really comforting,
really, really good. (pleasant music) – Okay, going to try
some of the warak enab, which are the stuffed grape
leaves, now with rice. These have been cooked already. And she also cooked it with that dressing that the parsley, the
mixture was made into. Wow, those are amazing. They’re so good, it’s almost
like a pudding on the inside. We can see there’s onion
in there, I think, as well. It’s so good, it just
squeezes out with like sour, juicy wonderfulness. And then I’ve had a few of these already, snacking on them in the
kitchen, the fried kibbeh. You did too. There’s a whole plate. This is the type of thing you can just snack on all day long, but they are kind of
heavy at the same time because of that wheat. But the meat, the allspice
and the pine nuts in there, that’s what does it for me. It’s also really good with salad as well, I think, that extra lemon juice. One of my favorite moves
is to take the kibbeh, the fried kibbeh like this and
put on a spoon of tabbouleh, which is the same idea as the salad. Goes with that extra lemon juice. That was a brilliant
lunch, it was so good. I love rice. That was my first time to
eat rice so far on this trip to Lebanon and it was
delicious, the mild spices mixed with the salad. And those are some of the
best stuffed grape leaves I’ve had as well. From here, we’ve got to move, because that was actually
a very late lunch, like a 5pm lunch and we’re trying to go try this type of tea,
which is called mate, which is actually from South America. That you’ll find in Southern
Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina. Mate, which is a herb that
they drink in a gourd. When I was in that area,
when I lived in Argentina, I drank it everyday. Not only everyday, but
like every 10 minutes, which they do in the culture, but they actually have this culture here, which we’re going to go see. More about that when we get there. And then we’ve got to get
some more for the sunset, so we’re on our way. (upbeat music) – Part of the mate experience is the clay, kind of like a charcoal holder where the charcoal rests,
where you light the charcoal, as that’s part of it. But I don’t know that part of it, so we’re going to find out. But she’s just making
one of the vessels now. It’s a mixture of a type of clay plus some hay inside of it
to make that texture right and then she’s molding it
into like a little pan, like a big tray and then
with holes in the bottom. Very cool to see her make this. What I like about it, is
that it’s like rustic. None of them are completely precise, none of them are completely the same. They’re kind of like leaning
over at the same time, and that leads us directly
into mate and coffee time. We never expected to be
drinking yerba mate in Lebanon and the story is still unclear, but it did come from South America, it did come from Argentina. But that entire region, south of Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina,
they drink mate habitually everyday, every few minutes. Even when I was in Argentina, I used to carry a thermos
of water around with me. But this is amazing to be having
a whole mate culture here. It’s not from the tea plant,
but it’s an herbal tea. And then you pour in hot water, making it bubble up and then you insert the metal straw, which at the bottom has little holes on the bottom, so you can suck up the liquid
while leaving the leaves. It’s been a long time,
but I’m very excited. Oh yes, yes, I remember
the flavor so well. Oh, it’s so good. It’s so soothing and
so herbaceous, and so, like a hint of bitterness, but a in a really good kind of way. Oh, I love it. Instead of carrying a
whole thermos of water, this is even better. That whole clay, charcoal holder
is to keep your water hot. Because when you’re drinking mate, you have to continually
keep adding hot water to it to keep it flowing, because it’s not just a single cup of tea; you drink one after another,
after another, after another, you can just keep on drinking, actually, throughout an entire day. And then if things cannot get better, some coffee to go with the mate. This is another beverage
I can drink all day. And then some cookies
to go with the coffee to go with the mate, this one
is covered in sesame seeds. Homemade. Kind of like a cake cookie. It’s really bready. It’s absolutely fascinating
to be drinking mate in the mountains, the Shouf Mountains, in the Central Park of Lebanon. This is a beverage that’s associated with many good memories. (upbeat music) – That was very fun to hang
out and drink some mate and just to learn about the
mate culture in Lebanon, which is fascinating to me. I can’t even believe
it, I didn’t even know. And then this is a very nice house sitting under the grape vines
with a view of the mountains. But we’ve got to head on now, because we’ve got to
get some more for sunset and that’s coming pretty soon. (upbeat music) – Okay, we drove up the
side of the mountain. I think this is actually
the reserve again, but on a different side of the reserve. Oh, we’ve got to hike up a little bit. But we’re here just a few
minutes before sunset. Look at that sun right
now, look at that color poking out over the mountain. That contrast, there we
go, now you can see it. Okay, we’ve got to do
a little bit walking, maybe up to a higher point
to get the full view. – I think we have to run.
– Okay. I think we have to run. – Everyone is running.
– Okay, let’s go. This way? – I’m holding the beer, so I’ll not run. – I’m climbing up, scrambling
up this side of the mountain. Somebody’s camp site. We have to run. (upbeat music) – We’ve still got two minutes. (upbeat music) Oh, so this is, this is really a
viewpoint, it’s like a deck over the side of the mountain. We just sprinted up the mountain. And they even have folding
chairs, like theater chairs. Wow, that view is incredible though. Wow, it’s like straight
layers going from blue gradient down to dark to the valley. Yeah, that is gorgeous. (bottles clink) – Cheers – We still have more people approaching. – Oh okay. – Cheers.
– Cheers. – I am happy you came on time. Five minutes.
– We just made it, five minutes, we had an
amazing five minutes. The sunset is beautiful. It’s kind of unique, unlike
any sunset I’ve seen, because of the line
across the entire horizon. – You have to dip it with the lemon. – Okay, which is down here. – Yeah. That’s it.
– Thank you. – It’s really nice. – Oh yeah, that’s delicious. (upbeat music) – We’re back at the
Cezar’s Guesthouse now, and harees has still been
cooking the entire time we were gone for, I
think, over 12 hours now. Before, there were
these big chunks of meat and the big bones. The bones have been removed, but the meat, even the chunks of meat
have just fully dissolved into the whole dish, making a porridge. The meat it still in there,
it’s just fully dissolved. It’s thickened, it’s smelling delicious and now we’ve brought it
outside over the fire, so we’re finishing is over the fire, so it gets that smokey and then it will be
ready to eat very soon. Still stirring, but got
to take a taste test right next to the pan,
right next to the pot. There’s a barn fire going, we’re just all kind of hanging out. It’s a really nice atmosphere. And just enjoying the nature, but it is definitely
time to taste the harees. You smell the cardamom,
I think it’s almost like, it almost smells like a rice pudding because of that cardamom,
but it’s totally different. It’s a meat stew porridge. It is almost like, I mean it’s wheat, but it’s almost like
a cross between savory and it’s not sweet, but you almost think it’s going to be sweet because
of the spices used in it. To increase even the sweet spices that goes along with harees, once you dish a bowl, you
sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on top. So again, you smell that sweet aroma. It has like all the sweet
spices you can imagine in it, but without the sugar and just a savory pudding-like porridge with meat. Oh, you put kibbeh in it too. Oh yeah, that’s what she said. – Mark.
– Yes? – This way.
– Dip it? – Yes. – Okay. That sounds wonderful. Okay, move over to the table where it’s a little easier to eat. I almost dropped the entire
load of harees on my lap. And like part of the wheat has fully turned into a smooth porridge, but part of the wheat
is also a little bit, like you taste the kernels of them. You taste the grains of the
wheat a little bit as well. It’s kind of like liquified meat into porridge form with the wheat. Okay, now I’m going to
try it with the kibbeh. Mix around that cinnamon. I think the second dip
after the first bite will be even better, because
you can scoop up more. Oh yeah, everything is better with kibbeh. It’s actually almost
like a bread with a soup. When you want to be
eating bread with a soup, so you can kind of scoop it up, so you can mop it up, so you
can get all the juices going, you should use kibbeh instead of bread. Final combination is the garlic, which was roasted over the fire as well. Eat that with the harees. Oh yeah. The garlic makes everything better. But that’s smokey, that’s roasted, that’s caramelized garlic, you want to have a clove in every bite. It’s so good with the garlic. Just finished with dinner and that was such a unique
dish to end this day. But the day, I mean it
started off kind of slow, but it progressed and
that home cooked meal by one of the ladies
from the village here, that was amazing, the rice. Those are some of the
best grape leaf rolls, let me see if I can
even remember the name. I cannot remember the name. Warak enab, is that it? Is that right? Anyways, that word is so
hard for me to remember. But those are some of
the best I’ve had today. And then just being able to hang out. A big thank you to Cezar
for arranging everything. This is a beautiful
place, I love that small, even though it was a short
hike through the biosphere, through the cedars, that was gorgeous. I also want to say a big thank you to Maya and Jed for arranging, and to USAID for funding
my trip to Lebanon. I’ll have links in the
description box below that you can check out and finally I want to say a big thank you to you for watching this video. Please remember to give it a thumbs up if you enjoyed it, leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you. And if you’re not already
subscribed, click subscribe now. Also, click the little bell icon, so that you get notified of
the next video that I publish. And if you haven’t watched
this entire Lebanon series, I’ll have the link in the
description box as well. You can watch the entire playlist, all of the Lebanese, amazing
Lebanese food videos. Good night from the Shouf Reserve in the mountains of Lebanon. See you on the next video. Thanks again for watching.

100 thoughts on “Village Food in Lebanon – BIG POT MOUNTAIN COOKING in Shouf | Middle Eastern Food!”

  1. In Pakistan, you can pick your Mutton… while it's still alive.. and they'll kill it, clean it and cook it on the spot.. It doesn't get much fresher than that!

  2. You eat like an animal but I still love your videos. Once you eat eggs that fresh you will never want to buy eggs in the supermarket again You simply can't beat the flavour

  3. this video make me hungry hungry and Hungary 😗😙😙😙😙😙😙😙😙😙😙😙😙😙😙😙😙😙 just love you mark

  4. I watch all of your videos and have been following you since the beginning but I have a question for you.

    Why sometimes do you cram so much into your mouth in one go that you can barely chew the food?

  5. Mark Weins, your every video is breathtaking❤It shows how rich every country is, in terms of food and culture!You're the best.Thank you for sharing your experiences to the World. We love you and your beautiful family!
    #LebanonSeries

  6. Wao, Great Lebanon series. Love to watch your Lebanese Food tour Mark. Lebanon Incredibly looking Great Country. Great Food, Great Country and Great Amazing People. Much love and respect from Pakistan. 🌍🌹🌹🌹

  7. Another great day especially the sprint up the mountain and all the wonderful homemade dishes thanks to sharing Mark safe travel's my friend

  8. KIbe look very similar to Kyiv kotlet to me, witch I tried in Ukraine, but they put butter inside:o I wish to try Kibe as well.

  9. the food in Lebanon is amazing but the best kubba in the world is the Iraqi. for me the "lahm-bi-ajin" of the lebanon is the best in the world. Arab food is top nosh!

  10. I love your videos and specially the lebanese series, I just have one thing to tell you, Maaaaaaan you need to start eating smaller bites, As Lebanese I know the food you are trying is amazing but your bites are huge :-D.

  11. This stew reminds me of "Canjiquinha com Costelinha de Porco", a Brazilian, more specifically Minas Gerais, stew that we eat during winter. Wonder if this one more of the many Lebanese influence in our cuisine. Look it up.

  12. I praise and thank God, our One, Great Creator. Surely God Exists and Created us for a great reason. Obviously we are not God at all. We must pray to God only, and not to Jesus. Jesus prayed to God and told everyone else to pray to God also. Jesus never claimed to be God's son, nor did Jesus refer to God as "father". When we pray, God always Hears us. We don't have to go to a house of worship for God to Hear us. Love God with all your heart and pray to stay on the straight path and to go to God's Paradise after death and not hellfire.

  13. I make also vine leafs with mince meat … and the bulgur ballas we called them bulgur kofta we have that we lemon juice on top

  14. Man this is a special country the food is different but interesting the scenery again isn't spectacular but loaded with all that we've heard and read about Lebanon the Cedars the shouf mountains thankyou for sharing your experience

  15. From my understanding the tradition of drinking mate came from the Lebanese who migrated to South America. When they came back to Lebanon they brought with them that tradition. There are over 10 million people of Lebanese descent living in Brazil. To give you context, Lebanon only has a population of 6 million.
    My aunt who is Lebanese Brazilian lives for mate.

  16. Many many Lebanese emigrated to South America in the 19th/20th century (like Shakira's ancestors haha) so I guess the mate culture makes sense there!

  17. Wonderful looking food . Wondering about social manners as far as women & men eating together , speaking with food in ypur mouth & other such things . I would love to go there but don't want to be considered rude .

  18. It's beautiful there and the food looks delicious. I just love how you and your family embrace all cultures. One day I wish to meet u and ur family and enjoy some food that I never had

  19. Hareese is my favourite dish /note:lebanon is the best country i have ever visit is because of the kindness of the people anf there perfect cousine and i wish you try mlockii this dich is a miracle 🤩🤩🤩

  20. Hows your digestion Mark? Seems like you can throw anything down those tubes and they just keep chunking it out. God Bless

  21. Try to change the expression man after the first bite, last two hundred episodes we see the same bloody expression after taking the first bite. looks like more of scripted drama you doing in front of the host just to please them.

  22. مع احترامي لها صح كبيره فالسن بس مفروض اتقص اظافرها عشان اكثر مكان يمسك جراثيم قبل لاتطبخ

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