On the road from Jerash to Amman there is a small corner shop that sells tasty local olive oil and olives, cheeses, spice mixtures and sauces – we stopped on our way back from hiking to Pella and I picked up a big bottle of olive oil for $4 and jar of homemade cheese for $3.
Jordanians go nuts for tangy dairy products and eat just about anything with a side of plain yogurt. The simple labneh cheese is also super popular: the eyeball-sized, spreadable spheres made of salty cow’s milk are eaten for breakfast or as a snack throughout the day.
I like my labneh from Jerash with a round of the super cheap flatbread ($0.35 for a little over 2 lbs – thanks to government subsidies), dipped in olive oil from Ajloun and sprinkled with the ubiquitous, versatile za’atar spice mix. My favorite za’atar has sumac added in with the rest of the mix, usually containing toasted seseme seeds, thyme, marjoram, oregano, a bit of salt.
Olive oil, bread, labneh, and za’atar: the perfect snack.
About Laura McAdams
Laura McAdams is a Master’s student at University of Pennsylvania studying International Educational Development. Her experience in the MENA region includes 15 months as a Fulbright student researcher to Fez and Ifrane, Morocco in 2010 and 2011. Her project was interested in understanding the disconnect between the policies of technology usage in education and the reality of how these policies unfold in the classroom. Summer 2012 she returned to the Middle Atlas mountains of Morocco to work with a women’s weaving cooperative. She is excited to learn more about other countries in the MENA region and issues involving education policy and reform, technology usage in curriculums and gender equality in education. One of Laura’s lifelong goals is to one day be able to sit down and leisurely read a newspaper in Arabic.
Oh man Laura…this post made me hungry!
I know, my new love is labneh. I have been eating a lot of good food in Jordan lately: I should do more food posts!