You must be getting rather tired (or just hungry) listening to me going on about my manoushe mission, but ask anyone who's been to Lebanon about these unforgettable breads and you'll realise that the goal to find the tastiest one in town is worth all these words.
Finding myself in the family village of Daraoun this weekend, I took the advice of last year's village visitors, sista sista and decalicious, and ambled up to the village centre to Um Walid to sample what these two considered to be delicious mne'eesh. Yes, they were good, but I'm still searching for better.
Look: Not bad at all. Not too much oil on the paper that was wrapped around it, and it had a decently baked colour.
Zaatar: Excellent consistency but not generous enough with the amount spread over.
Dough: Slightly sweet tasting, which is an excellent contrast to the sour sumac in the zaatar mixture; thin and relatively crispy.
Plus: The baker was wearing a Chemaly Bakery t-shirt, so I immediately felt one with my manoushe.
Minus: Oooh, there are a few:
1) It's a 15-minute walk to Um Walid, so by the time I returned, the manoushe was getting cold - and a microwave isn't a manoushe's best friend, as it dries it out.
2) I had to dodge four of my father's cousins' houses or shops to get to Um Walid without being invited in for coffee.
3) When the owner heard that I was my mother's daughter, she game me a kitchen-sweaty kiss.
Price: 1 500LL