Food Trails

The Jabali Tomato Trail

In The Media

Heirloom Tomato – Taste&Flavors

Heirloom tomato or “Jabaliyeh Tomato” is also referred to as “real tomato” given that it is a natural variety that has been passed down through the generations: from farmer to farmer.

Heirloom Tomato: Taste&Flavors

Check out the full article in Taste&Flavors magazine.



Jabaliyeh Tomato seasoned with garlic & sumac

Green and red “banadoura jabaliyeh”

In Lebanon, Jabaliyeh Tomatoes, or Heirloom tomatoes, are commonly served in local restaurants as mezze. However, they can also be served as a salad or decorate any other salad with the seasoned tomato slices.

Caloric content: 190 calories / seasoned tomato


1 Jabaliyeh Tomato (200 g)

4 garlic cloves

1 Tbsp of olive oil

½ tsp of salt

1 pinch of sumac

Preparation steps:

  1. Wash the tomato and cut into slices (~ thickness of 1 cm approx.)
  2. Place the tomato slices in a plate and refrigerate
  3. In the meantime, crush the garlic cloves and mix them with the oil and salt to obtain a paste
  4. Spread the garlic paste on each tomato slice
  5. Sprinkle some sumac on each slice as well
Tomato seasoned with crushed garlic and sumac ©NadiaenMerijn
Food Tourism Activities

Making Tomato Paste

Tomato paste, like many other preserves in the Lebanese repertoire of moune, is a way to conserve foods for consumption during the scarce winter season, and for the times when that tomatoes are not fresh and available.

tomato sauce
Enjoying tomato picking at a local farm

Freshly picked tomatoes are cleaned and juiced, either manually or using a tomato juicer, discarding at this stage both skin and seeds, usually composted or used as feed for chicken. The juice is then heated – traditionally over wood fire – until the juice thickens to reach the right concentration, reducing to at least half the original volume.

tomato sauce
Making tomato paste the traditional way, on wood fire

On the food trail, regional differences between West Bekaa and Higher Shouf can be appreciated in tomato concentrate making.

In Higher Shouf, the tomato paste is not too concentrated, made from Jabaliye tomatoes and reduced over wood fire. It is often eaten raw in a sandwich with fresh oregano leaves and olive oil, and is also used in cooking.

tomato sauce 1
Can you smell that? 🙂

In West Bekaa, many leave the tomato concentrate to further dry in the blistering heat of the sun for 2-3 days, becoming a thick paste, mainly used in cooking.

Tomato Paste Kherbet Qanafar
The thick paste is then dried under the burning summer sun 

On the food trail, several hosts open their houses for tourists to join in tomato harvesting and tomato paste making.

tomato sauce