We Are What We Eat: Darfiyeh #MedFoodHeroes
A big part of the Rooted Everyday campaign for 2020 will be focused on Mediterranean Food Heroes from our ecosites. They’re people who produce, shop and cook sustainably from across the Mediterranean. It’s an opportunity to talk about culture and biodiversity whilst showcasing the quality ingredients the Med has to offer. We want to show the rest of the world how the food we choose to put on our plates impacts both the environment and the sustainable economy.
The Shouf Mountains offer a sustainable place to live and work. Producers are able to set up small enterprises and supply traditional Lebanese food.
Here is a Dish from Mount Lebanon
Mount Lebanon villages produce Baladi goats Darfiyeh, a cheese made with raw goat milk, is still produced.
This cheese has distinctive packaging: goatskin (Dariff) is cleaned and salted and then used as casing during the aging process.
The goat milk, first filtered, is left to sit for a minimum of 24 hours before adding rennet from a kid and allowing it to solidify at 30-35 degrees Celsius. The curds are worked by hand, first broken into pieces then smashed together and formed into a ball, which is salted and dried and then broken a second time with a knife and left to sit for 12 hours.
Arichi, a type of ricotta that is either salted or sweetened, is made by warming up the whey residue. The goatskin is cleaned and salted. The legs are tied with a cord, leaving only the neck open. Inside the body, the cheese and Arichi are arranged in alternating layers. They are aged in humid caves where they harden for a minimum of one month and a maximum of six.
Production of the cheese and yogurt requires the labor of the entire family: the father usually slaughters the goats, while the children tend the herd and the mother produces the cheese. Fresh cheese is often sold at the butcher shop alongside goat meat.