What's Ukraine got to do with Lebanon?

The news this week has left us all reeling. Naturally, our thoughts are with Ukraine and her people.

So what has Ukraine got to do with Lebanon? Wheat.

Last weekend flour had already disappeared from supermarket shelves in some areas of Beirut. Some bakeries reportedly restricted the amount of bread customers could buy, a worrying sign for people living with food insecurity.
According to the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation, Lebanon sourced 65% of its wheat from Ukraine, and 12% from Russia in 2020. The importance of bread as a staple in Lebanon takes on even more poignancy given the fact that the country's largest grain storage was destroyed in the 4th August blast in 2020. Since the issue of where to store large quantities of grain hasn't been resolved by the government, a smaller amount of wheat has to be imported, leaving the country with no grain reserve. Journalists Shaya Laughlin and Zeina el-Khatib highlight Lebanon's precarious food security situation in an article written for Triangle, a research policy unit in Beirut. According to the journalists, the Minister of Economy, Amin Salam, on February 25th said there was only enough wheat for a month.

Buying grain from Ukraine and Russia was cheap, allowing a country, like Lebanon, where the food supply in the last 2 years has become incredibly challenging, an affordable staple. This new crisis now means that an alternative source of grain has to be found from countries further away, taking longer to get to Lebanon, as well as being much more expensive.

Let's hope bread doesn't become a luxury for some in Lebanon.
On a happier note, we'd like to thank you all for your support, which means we are now ordering more stock! Since some of our customers expressed an interest in a bigger tin of oil, Youssef Fares of Zejd, is supplying us with 3L tins of extra virgin olive oil. Fingers crossed the goods get to Beirut airport next week! Thanks for your patience, and if you're interested in one of these tins, please email
3L tin
We hope to see some of you at Whiteladies Market in Bristol on Saturday 5th March, and we'll be back at the Tobacco Factory Market Sunday 27th March.
Market pic
We've added more recipes to our website, and have posted 2 useful ideas for the weekend below. The crunchy bulgur salad from Claudia Roden's new book, The Med, has a delicious dressing with pomegranate molasses. The pangiallo is a delightful Roman treat taken from Rachel Roddy's book Five Quarters, a bit like panforte, really simple and perfect as a sweet note to end a meal with. Happy cooking!
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