• Beirut

  • Monday, January 22, 2024 at 5:29 AM
    Last Update : Monday, January 29, 2024 at 6:40 AM

Lebanese Adapting To New UNESCO-Listed Manousheh Price

(AWP) - Lebanese in Beirut say that they are adapting to the “new price” of their favorite culinary delight, now listed by the UNESCO as ‘intangible cultural heritage:’ the za’tar (thyme) manousheh.

From 250 liras a few years ago, a Lebanese citizen today pays 75,000 liras (less than one dollar) in some places for a manousheh, which was added to the UNESCO heritage list a month ago.

The international organization deemed the renowned flatbread topped with thyme as of “symbolic significance in Lebanon that is deeply ingrained in Lebanon’s identity, evoking the flavors associated with traditional morning gatherings, or sobhiyye, which play a pivotal role in social interactions.”

An owner of a bakery in Beirut, however, said that today’s higher price makes it more difficult for the Lebanese to get their manousheh.

“The thyme manousheh used to be sold for 250 liras. A person could have it with a juice for 500 liras. The price of thyme and the wages of the field workers have gone up now. Today, the price of a thyme manousheh is nearly 75,000 liras. This is a very high price, but people are adapting,” said Baha’ al-Hathout in statements to the Arab World Press (AWP).

Manakeesh are baked in metal or stone ovens made of refractory bricks, or on a concave metal griddle.
Hathout pointed out that the availability of manousheh ingredients makes it familiar to the Lebanese.

“Anyone can buy thyme. It is indigenous to our lands. One can buy thyme manousheh for less than one dollar. It can be a breakfast or dinner, and has many benefits. The manousheh is well-known as a daily type of food that is available for everyone. The rich, the have-nots, and those in a hurry can all eat thyme,” he added.

Lebanon is currently facing a crushing economic crisis that has caused its local currency to plunge against the dollar.