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Bulgur making

Spreading the boiled wheat on the roof to dry under the hot Bekaa sun

Making wheat into bulgur is an ancient process that originated in the Mediterranean region and has been an integral part of Middle Eastern cuisine for thousands of years. It may, in fact, be man’s first “processed food.”

Harvested wheat being boiled

The ancient preparation process is still used in small villages in the eastern Mediterranean: boiling the wheat in huge pots (sometimes for days) until thoroughly cooked, spreading out on flat rooftops to dry in the sun, then cracking the hardened kernels into coarse pieces and sieving them into different sizes for various uses. Bulgur remained exclusively a traditional food of the Mediterranean region for many years.

Fady checking if the wheat is well cooked

Modern nutritionists discovered what the ancients already knew: the value of bulgur as a “perfect food” in terms of palatability and keeping quality.

To learn more on bulgur processing, Darb el karam offers a visit to the Ghorayeb family mill in Saghbine, West Bekaa, where visitors can witness the whole process from arrival of harvested wheat to the mill until cracking it into bulgur ready to be used in the kitchen!

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Bulgur spread on the roof