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    Cheese,  Italian,  Italian Cheese,  Italy,  Sheep Milk

    Milking It – A Guide to Dairy Free Cheeses

    It may stun you to know that I have friends who don’t eat cheese. My friend Beth is one of those people. She loves cheese, it just didn’t love her. Beth’s problem is cow’s milk in particular disagreed with her. She told me once she really missed pizza and other goodies because of her cow’s milk cheese intolerance. Standby because I’m about to get sciency and stuff. It is commonly believed that milk proteins, not the sugars, found in milk are the cause for a dairy allergy. Although symptoms associated with lactose intolerance are similar to that of a dairy allergy, the body’s reaction is different. A true food allergy…

  • Artisan Cheese,  Cheese,  Food,  Lebanon,  Middle East,  Sheep Milk,  Travel,  White Cheese

    Home Grown Heroes

    By now, three quarters of the free world know I have been growing tomatoes on my terrace. No big deal you say? Well, I am not known for my green thumb and also, I LIVE IN THE DESERT! So now, the tomato vines, tended with love during our short and sweet Doha winter, have started to bear fruit. What to do with this bounty? Today a friend passed by for coffee so I whipped up a quick Middle Eastern style bruschetta. I used one of my favorite cheeses, a labneh from Laiterie Jarjoura in Chtoura, Zahlé, Lebanon. It is a famous mountainside stop en route to Baalbeck and the Bekaa…

  • Cheese,  Cyrpus,  Food,  Sheep Milk,  Travel

    The Great Halloumi Shortage of 2013

    Start hoarding folks, even if you don’t like it because times are tough in Cyprus. That great Cypriot cheese, Halloumi, which can only be authentically made on part of this small island, is seeing demand outstripping supply. This foodie crisis is outlined in the link below. Meanwhile those who can’t live without it, can try making their own according to Cheesemaking.com Halloumi Shortage

  • Cheese,  Food,  France,  French,  Sheep Milk,  Travel

    Basque (ing) in the Glory of Meatza

    I’m on a diet. There are undiscovered tribes in Papua New Guinea that know this fact. I have been telling everyone about it. Even the guy who pumped my petrol the other day. “You are very glamorous madam, like a Bollywood star,” he said in response. That guy earned a BIG tip. I’ve already lost just over 5kgs in a couple of weeks thanks to tennis, kickboxing and the most un-relaxing yoga classes I have ever experienced, and being the impatient inner child I am, I want it to go faster. So, I quizzed my friend and diet buddy Brooke (check out her fab blog Babbling in the Desert) about…

  • American Cheese,  Blue Cheese,  brie,  British,  Cheddar,  Cheese,  Cyprus,  European Cheese,  Feta,  Food,  France,  Goat Cheese,  Gouda,  Greece,  Italy,  Ricotta,  Sheep Milk,  Swiss,  Travel,  Unusual Cheeses,  Washed Rind,  White Cheese

    Honor Roll – Huff Post Lists Best Cheeses

    Every day I say a small prayer to a higher power for not being born lactose intolerant. I mean, it would have been difficult to do this blog in the first place. More importantly, what would I talk about at parties? I get asked a lot what I think the best cheese in the world is. The beauty is, there are thousands. The Huffington Post has a similar view to me, in that there is no such thing as a bad cheese. but they have also compiled a list of the 20 best cheeses (in their humble opinion). I agree with all the listed ones, maybe not the order. Check…

  • Cheese,  Sheep Milk,  Travel,  Turkey,  White Cheese

    You Had Feta Believe It

    Woke up this clear Saturday morning with a headache that tends to plague women of a certain age. A brisk walk and a swim failed to shift it. Lying in a darkened room likewise. After swathing my temples in Tiger Balm and taking a last chance Voltaren, I was finally able to see through the fog. My friend Kate had sent me this Gozleme recipe and having most of the ingredients, I thought this would go some way to making me feel better. The result was, as another friend dubbed it, “Hugs on a Plate”. Gözleme is a savoury traditional Turkish pastry dish, made of hand-rolled dough that is lightly…

  • Cheese,  Cyprus,  Sheep Milk,  Travel

    The Milky Whey

    I don’t know much about Cyprus except that it’s an island, lots of Poms live there and it probably ins’t a greta place to have a bank account. It also it seems, makes some damn fine cheese, like this chunk of Anari. This has been loitering in my fridge for a while and I have been waiting for a chance to use it. Anari is a fresh mild whey cheese produced in Cyprus. Although much less known than other Cypriot cheeses like halloumi, it’s getting its own time in the sun. It comes in two forms, a crumbly whey type cheese, or the hardened variety like the one I have…

  • American Cheese,  Blue Cheese,  Cheese,  European Cheese,  France,  French,  Italy,  Sheep Milk,  Travel,  Unusual Cheeses,  White Cheese

    Wheel of Cheese Fortune

    The thing I love about having a blog dedicated to one topic, rather than random musings (I have Facebook and Twitter for that), is that my friends near and far collect the most amazing stuff for me. This comes in the form of websites, newspaper stories and infographics like this one which came from the lovely Sarah Rabbani (who I want to be when I grow up) That’s a chart of 66 of the world’s favorite cheeses and yes, I have already pre-ordered one for the bedroom. For more information check out Pop Chart Lab or here at our friends Buzzfeed Food

  • Cheese,  Goat Cheese,  Lebanon,  Middle East,  Sheep Milk,  Travel,  Unusual Cheeses,  White Cheese

    Are You Going My Whey?

    I thought I had exhausted the repertoire of Cheeses of the Middle East. That is until I came across Baladi cheese. Baladi is a soft, white cheese originated in the Middle East. It is known Jibneh Khadra or Jibnah Baladi in Arabic. In local language, Baladi means local cheese made from a flock of “baladi” goats. Alternatively, it is also called ‘cheese of the mountains’ because it is made in high mountains all over Lebanon by the local shepherds. Since Baladi is made from unpasteurized mixture of goat, cow and sheep’s milk, it has to be consumed within three days. The cheese appears similar to Akawie, but it has more…

  • Cheese,  Lebanon,  Middle East,  Sheep Milk,  Travel

    Shanklish for the Memories

    My affection for the Middle East is well know, after all, I have lived here for most of my thirties and now my forties. I have a special affection for Lebanon. Perhaps the only country where, at 11pm, a nice, quiet restaurant will turn into a full blown nightclub. I asked a Lebanese friend about this once. He was blunt. “You know the history of Lebanon. On any given day we could be invaded, attacked or whatever. So why not party?” Words to live by I say. Their food, or food from the Levantine region is some of the most complex and interesting in the world. Drawing from the Middle…