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spring equinox

In Lebanon and most Arab countries, Mother's Day is celebrated on 21st March.

It also coincides with the spring equinox which is when Iranians celebrate Noruz, the beginning of a new year. A beautifully decorated table called a haftsin displays 7 objects beginning with the letter "s" in Farsi. Each one is selected for their symbolic presence.

Apart from sumac, which represents sunshine, you'll find sprouted wheat/lentils, garlic, eggs (usually painted), apples, coins and senjed (Persian olive). We love the fact that one of our customers has added Zejd's sumac to her haftsin.

things to read...

wheat in akkar

Formidable women making freekeh in Akkar, north Lebanon feature in this article on growing wheat in Lebanon. Written and photographed by Jenny Gustafsson, Wheat in Akkar gives a comprehensive history of the grain and its importance in Lebanon.

Hasna Ali, pictured, is sorting through green wheat for freekeh.
The process of smoking the wheat gives it a wonderful taste. We've added freekeh to the sumac soup recipe below.

farmers in the south

For farmers in south Lebanon the situation is catastrophic. Over the last 5 months Israel has bombed this rich agricultural land. Olive oil is a major crop for farmers in this area. A fifth of the country's olive oil production comes from the south.

Michelle Eid's article Israel's Environmental and Economic Warfare on Lebanon from The Markaz Review illustrates how painfully this impacts a country already under dire economic stress.
The photo of fires caused by Israeli artillery fire near Ibl al Saqi and Kfar Hamam is by Mahmoud Zayyat for AFP.

seasonal eating

spring time soup

The Iranian food blogger Azita Mehran (@turmericandsaffron) kindly allowed us to add her sumac and herb soup recipe to our website.

The sumac and the herbs make this a really refreshing lemony soup. Instead of rice, we added freekeh to the lentils which gives it an interesting smokey flavour. If the herbs in your garden are beginning to grow, this is a great way of using the first cuttings.
sumac in a glass jar 120g

easy flatbread recipe

For anyone shocked at the ingredients on the label of supermarket flatbreads, here's a simple recipe to make your own. Without yeast, it doesn't take that long and is immensely satisfying.
a gold tin of extra virgin olive oil
flat bread cooking in a frying pan
A couple of tablespoons of Zejd's extra virgin olive oil adds flavour and health properties to the simple ingredients that go into bread. Enjoy the magic of making flatbreads in a frying pan, and have a go at making some labneh or muhammara too!

online closing

Can we recommend that any Easter orders are made before 26th March?

Our online shop will be closed from 6pm March 26th to April 8th.

money for snacks

We'll be visiting Najdeh Association in Beirut shortly to hand over our donation.

From any purchase you make online before 26th March or at our weekend markets, we will donate 10% to Najdeh so the team can buy snacks for the children in their care.


We've added a click and collect option so that you can browse online and collect at either market.

Saturday 23rd March Whiteladies Road Market Bristol, BS8 2ST 8.30am - 1pm

Sunday 24th March Winkworth Farm Market, Malmesbury SN16 9NH 10am - 2pm

market display at Winkworth Market
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