I love the summer here in Halifax, there is so much to do! I know it isn’t quite as busy and active as some bigger cities like Toronto or Vancouver, but there is always something to do in the city during these precious warm months.
A couple of weekends ago, the annual Lebanese festival happened. It was held at Our Lady of Lebanon Parish, and the main drawing feature was, of course, the food.
Josh and I both lived in Ottawa for a while, where one doesn’t have to go far to fine shawarma, a Lebanese street food. Shaved meat, garlic sauce, pickled turnip, onion, and lettuce all on a warm pita bread. I could eat one everyday.
Cedar fest definitely had shawarma on the menu, but we wanted branch out and try something new. Enter mankouche.
Mankouche za’atar is a savoury arabic treat that consists of baked flatbread with a topping of olive oil, thyme and sesame seeds. Its folded up and eaten like a pita. New comfort food? I think so.
So not only was the food delicious, but it was handmade by a number of volunteers from this parish. This one right here? She is the one who made ours and hand delivered it while gushing over Joe. To me, not only is the taste of the food important but the experience of the food. Oh, and I can’t forget about the dessert. Baklava (phyllo pastry, butter, chopped nuts, sugar syrup) and Nammoura (wheatlets, sugar, butter, milk, baking powder). My grandmother on my dad’s side was Armenian, so I grew up with home made Baklava, which is probably one of my favourite desserts of all time. I need to learn how to make it!!!
We were enjoying our food and we heard all of this commotion. Four Range Rovers drove in, people started running and a crowd started to form. People were going crazy taking pictures and there were cops doing crowd control. I figured it must of been some sort of Lebanese celebrity. Turns out it was the Lebanese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gebran Bassil. I thought it was pretty interesting how famous he seemed. I don;t think we have the same reaction to politicians here 😉
We enjoyed our visit. It was free to get in and we paid about 8$ for our food (Mankouche Za’atar, and 3 pastries), which we weren’t upset about. The grounds are fairly small (the church parking lot), so there wasn’t a whole lot to see. I didn’t see any activities for kids, although we went on Friday evening so they may have had something during Saturday and Sunday.
It was something different for us to do, while satisfying our taste buds. It also is a fundraiser for Our Lady of Lebanon Parish, so we are happy to support it. I would definitely go again!