Friday, May 27, 2016

Hard and dry labaneh

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In Israel we love to eat the soft yogurt cheese called labaneh, scooping it off the plate with pita.
But Nissim, our excellent guide through the Bedouin part of the Beer Sheva market, explained that labaneh can also be made into these dried lumps.

  
Strained labaneh is pressed in its cheese cloth between two heavy stones and later sun dried.
The balls can be easily stored and for a long time. 
Arabs have been doing this for hundreds of years.
I guess when Bedouin were still largely nomadic, it was easy to transport the labaneh in such form; add water and it is easily reconstituted to soft yogurt cheese.


The labaneh made by Arabs in the southern Hebron Hills is slightly different in shape from that made by the Bedouin here in the Negev.
One version is round and the other is oval.

To see how women in the nearby village of Dirijat produce labaneh, please see my pictures from 2008, when I spent five days living there, learning Arabic.
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13 comments:

William Kendall said...

This is the first I've heard of labaneh.

Kay said...

Hmmmm... This looks quite interesting. However, since I'm lactose intolerant I'll have to skip this one.

Travelogue for the Universe said...

Thanks for the history lesson. Is this sheep's milk? Camel?

Dina said...

William, go to a Middle Eastern restaurant and try some drizzled with olive oil, with fresh warm pita!

Kay, oi, sorry, Kay.

Travelogue, I think any kind of milk can be used. The labaneh I saw being made in the Bedouin village was from sheep. In fact I helped milk a few ewes!

Jael said...

I have seen here in some recipes/cook programs ,which have used yogurt powder,or dried yogurt,so interesting to learn more of it.I wonder where I could get that...

Jael said...

I guess I have to come to Beersheva market;D

Gosia k said...

I think it is very delicious. Have a great Sunday

Dina said...

Jael shalom. If you come down here let me know. I'll meet you at the shuk. :)

Gosia, I'm glad you know and like labaneh. What do they call it in Poland?

Alice said...

mmmm !!! looks yummy. I'll have a portion please : ) Have a good day Dina

Jael said...

Dina:Maybe when it gets cold agan..too warm n the summer.But a visit to Beer Sheva has been in the mind for a long time.So

Dina said...

Jael, sababa!

Nathalie H.D. said...

Nice story about labaneh, makes me wish I could taste it.
You've truly had a interesting life so far, learning Arabic for 5 years etc. I'd love to have your full CV!

Dina said...

Thanks Nathalie. But wait, it was only 5 days of Arabic immersion course, not 5 years (unfortunately). :)