The Arab food class is back for another semester of knowledge, critical thinking, historical materialism, political economy, farming, cooking and communal work!

We started the semester by readings and discussing several articles about the revolutions in the Arab world and their relation to food security, the global market, neo-liberalism and social issues.

To cap off our first two weeks, the students each made *labnah* لبنة  (pronounced lab-nee in Lebanese, Palestinian, Syrian and Jordanian).

They learned how to make yoghurt by boiling milk and adding a yoghurt culture, then straining it to make a very thick yoghurt (labnan), which has the consistency of very thick sour cream or a very smooth cream cheese.

They brought the product of their labor to class, sharing it with their classmates. I am proud to say that there were a high percentage of successful attempts. We boiled the less successful attempts in a demonstration on how to make “ashtah,” the curd separated from the whey, which can be pressed into a farmers cheese or feta. Or, in the Arab world, it is eaten with honey and almonds or put in pastries

We ate the labnah with Arab bread, green olives from Lebanon, stuffed eggplant pickles (makdous), and “zaatar” (dried thyme and sesame seeds) and oil from Palestine.

The students also ate “Shoufan,” yoghurt, oats and honey. I brought in my own yoghurt, which is made from a culture that has been continuously used for several weeks, honey (courtesy of my own bees) and organic oats.

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