The Grocer: Kishk
Considered one of the most valued preserved foods in rural Lebanon, kishk is a Middle Eastern pantry staple, just begging to be made into a steamy soup this winter.
Kishk is a fine, powdery cereal made from a nutrient-dense combination of bulghur (cracked wheat) and laban (yoghurt made with cow’s, sheep’s or goat’s milk). Creating kishk powder is a somewhat arduous process, so only have a crack if you have a fair amount of time on your hands. It involves kneading the laban and bulghur together like a dough and allowing it to ferment for around nine consecutive days. When fermentation is complete, the kishk is dried out in the sun then hand-rubbed until it is reduced into a beautifully fine powder. Traditionally, kishk powder is stored in pure white cotton bags, but your trusty plastic container collection will do just fine.
Kishk is characterised by a strong odour and rich taste, akin to fresh goat’s cheese. It is most notable for its use in thick porridge-like soups, but also features in many other traditional Lebanese recipes, such as lamb and kishk kibbeh, kishk pie, and kishk pizza. If you’re not sure how to experiment with kishk at home, you’ll find it on the menu at Gerard’s Bistro.
Image via Rose Water & Orange Blossoms.
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