Lebanese Food / Wine and Culinary Traditions

Lebanese Food / Wine and Culinary Traditions
Spring time always inspires me...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

In Qsaybeh with a Carob Molasses Producer

Bassam and I walking through the forest
Paper-thin bread in the making
 This week I went to Qsaybeh, the home of Bassam Naimeh, the carob molasses producer. The LBC team showed up in the morning at my house, this time with a new crew. We introduced ourselves and drove to our destination. The cameraman filmed the road up the village filled with pine forests as he sat on the hood of the car. We arrived to greed Bassam who had been working since early morning on his carob molasses production. He produces about 50 tons per year, yet he complained that this year the financial output was poor compared to the past. He went through the whole process with us and explained each procedure carefully. Hours later, we went to visit two lovely women who were baking bread on the saj. We had a delicious breakfast made of man'oushe and discussed Bassam's life. We strolled through the forest as the team filmed us from afar. Bassam offered each one of us a jar of carob molasses among other treats to take home. He gave me two bottles of wine, produced in his workshop. It is always a treat to visit him. He remains one of my favorite encounters during my mouneh research. Bassam suffers from a genetic skin disorder. I wish I could make a difference in his life, at least to bring him some sort of happiness. He will be rewarded for his generosity and kindness one day. I know it!

The sound man
Show business is fun!

1 comment:

Paul Abou Nader said...

Hi Barbara, this is plain wonderful, I can only admire your journeys through Lebanon and your digging into its rich traditions (with a degree of envy, I have to admit). That will undoubtedly help keep a record of these fading yet priceless customs. I was hoping for more details on the carob molasses making, but I suppose I will have to get a hold of one of your books for that. Keep up the good work and all the best.