Eat Local

Food and Roots: A New Lebanese Retail Brand Empowering Rural Communities and Offering Unique Food Products

Food and Roots mouneh products (all photos © Food Heritage Foundation, photographed by Jean Pierre Tarabay)

Contributing writer: Maha El Solh

Food and Roots is a new innovative and socially-engaged brand that refines traditional Lebanese food products from rural areas across Lebanon to fit modern life. Developed and launched by the Food Heritage Foundation (FHF) and supported by the Environment and Sustainable Development Unit (ESDU) at the American University of Beirut (AUB), the brand endeavors to empower and create market access for local small-scale producers by gathering, packaging and selling their products via several urban points of sale.

As part of its seed to table approach, Food and Roots sources ingredients and food for its range of ready-to-eat, ready-to-cook, processed mouneh and fresh produce products from carefully chosen small-scale producers made up of farmers and cooperatives from different rural areas in Lebanon. This network of producers have all previously participated in training sessions conducted as part of different projects that ESDU is involved in.

Olive Salad Mix

The added value of Food and Roots is that it implements proper quality control, food safety standards, climate-smart approaches and sustainable agricultural practices that are designed to sustain rural communities in their lands. Additionally, all their products rely on seasonal ingredients and traditional rural specialties that have no preservatives and additives.

Despite all the challenges Lebanon has been facing from the financial crisis and the pandemic, the Food and Roots team has persevered and succeeded in launching the brand in different points of sale in the Beirut area, to continue their mission of empowering rural communities and connecting them to urban customers by selling their healthy and unique food products.

Carob Molasses

In March, Food and Roots launched their website where all their products can be found and delivered to your doorstep across Lebanon. In addition to ordering their products from their website, they will eventually be available for purchase from various urban points of sale. With time, they will expand their selection of mouneh products.

For those interested in discovering the unique recipes of rural communities, Food and Roots will be offering ready-to-eat products and ready-to-cook meals which will be prepared by the Akleh Community Kitchen in collaboration with a consultant chef that will refine their rural flavors with a modern twist.

Thyme (Za’atar)

Food and Roots started displaying and selling their products in different events across Beirut during the Christmas season. Customers bought a wide range of products including herbs, pastes, molasses, olives, dairy and grains. To benefit from networking opportunities and attract customers and potential retailers, Food and Roots will be present at different events and exhibitions in Lebanon during 2021.

Discover their products:
Follow them on social media:
Call them on: +961 78 835 679

More mouth-watering photos of Food and Roots products:

Tomato Paste
Chili Paste
Thyme with Nuts (Za’atar with Nuts)


Shmameet b laban – Poached eggs in yogurt

“Shmameet b laban” (شماميط باللبن) is a rural dish consisting of eggs cooked in goat yogurt and served with rice on the side. The recipe is prepared in Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and other Arabic countries as well. It can be cooked with or without meat but the vegetarian version is more common.

“Shmameet b laban” is a rich and consistent meal, part of our Lebanese culinary heritage.

Total Servings: 4


1 kg of goat yogurt (laban)

1/2 cup of butter

1/2 cup of water

10 eggs

1 tbsp of flour

2 large onions

1 tsp of salt

1 tsp of white pepper

1 tbsp of cornstarch

Preparation steps

  1. Cut the onions into slices. Saute the onions in a saucepan with the butter on medium fire until browned
  2. In a small bowl, mix the water with flour then add them to the onions. Cook on a medium fire until the mixture thickens
  3. Add salt and white pepper to the mixture and stir well
  4. In a separate bowl, add the cornstarch to the cold yogurt and stir until the starch dissolves. The starch will keep the yogurt from curdling
  5. Slowly add the yogurt to the mixture and stir continuously until the mixture is homogeneous and it slightly boils
  6. Break the eggs one after the other, slowly on the surface of the yogurt and leave for about ten minutes without stirring allowing the eggs to cook without breaking
  7. When the eggs are cooked, the “shmameet” are ready to be served hot with rice on the side