World Mankousheh Day Date in the current year: November 2, 2024

World Mankousheh Day World Mankousheh Day is celebrated annually on November 2. It was created to honor an iconic dish of Levantine cuisine that is especially popular in Lebanon, as well is neighboring countries and centers of the Lebanese diaspora.

The Levant is an area in the Eastern Mediterranean region that roughly corresponds to Ottoman Syria. Countries and regions typically included in the Levant in the narrow sense are Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, and southern Turkey. In the broad sense, the region also includes all of Turkey, Egypt, Greece, Iraq, and eastern Libya.

Each country in the Levant has its own cuisine, but there are a few dozen traditional dishes these cuisines have in common. They are collectively known as Levantine dishes. Among the most iconic dishes of Levantine cuisine are baba ghanoush, hummus, tabbouleh, and mankousheh.

Mankousheh, also known as man’ousheh, manakish or manakeesh, is a Levantine flatbread topped with za’atar, cheese, ground meat, or other toppings. Traditionally, women would bake bread for the day in a communal oven early in the morning and would then bake the leftover dough with different toppings for breakfast. Because of its origin, mankousheh is typically served for breakfast or lunch. It can also be served as a snack or part of a mezze (a selection of small appetizers).

Classic mankousheh can be made with one of three toppings: a mixture of za’atar and olive oil, cheese, and minced lamb. Za’atar is the Arabic name of Lebanese oregano, although it is sometimes applied to thyme and some other herbs from the same family. The name also refers to a traditional spice mixture that includes ground dried herbs, dried sumac berries, toasted sesame seeds, and salt. To make za’atar mankousheh, the za’atar herb or spice blend is mixed with olive oil, spread onto the dough that has been rolled flat, and the whole thing is then baked in the oven.

Cheese mankousheh is usually made with two main types of cheese: akkawi (white brine cheese similar in texture to feta or mozzarella) or kashkaval (yellow cheese). It is occasionally flavored with za’atar. Mankousheh topped with minced lamb, also known as shifa, is usually served for lunch because it’s heavier and more filling than za’atar or cheese mankousheh. Other popular mankousheh toppings include kashk (a dairy product made from strained yogurt), leafy greens such as spinach or Swiss chard, and a mixture of finely chopped onions and tomatoes.

World Mankousheh Day was created in 2017 by Zaatar W Zeit, a Lebanese urban eatery franchise with locations in Canada, Egypt, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The main goal of the holiday is to honor the iconic Levantine breakfast food and encourage people to enjoy Levantine cuisine. On the occasion of World Mankousheh Day, Zaatar W Zeit donates over 2,000 mankousheh to Food Blessed, an NGO that fights food poverty in Lebanon.

The best way to celebrate World Mankousheh Day is to go out for breakfast to your local Lebanese restaurant or order some delicious mankousheh if you’d rather have breakfast at home. And don’t forget to snap a photo of your Levantine breakfast and post in on social media with the hashtag #WorldMankoushehDay to spread the word.

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World Mankousheh Day, international observances, Levantine cuisine, Lebanese cuisine, mankousheh, manakeesh