Laban

If there is anything that has become a staple in our diets since moving to Lebanon, it’s laban.  Basically it’s just plain yogurt…. a bit tart, sort of soupy and apparently very easy to make, although I haven’t tried making it myself yet.

First, it (and it’s thicker version, lebne) started out as a replacement in recipes…. for sour cream, yogurt, cream cheese.

And then it took a bigger role…  mixed with cucumbers and mint and served as side, for example.

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Now, we just eat it plain.  It’s one of the girls favorite snacks and Caleb puts a little honey on top and eats it for dessert.

We’ve been looking for a laban replacement here in the good ole US of A, but so far, no luck.  Greek yogurt is good, but too thick, and for some reason it’s really hard to find full-fat, unflavored (ie not vanilla!) yogurt.

Laban, we miss you!

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10 thoughts on “Laban

  1. The U.S. yogurt choices are lacking. I ended up making my own so I could have the fat. I would strain some for a Greek consistency but then found the thinner stuff best on granola and fruit. Stoneyfield plain with cream on top is a rare find but good and full fat!

  2. Nancy’s “honey” yogurt is our staple. It’s not actually sweet, just excellent full-fat plain yogurt. But I just Googled and it looks like laban is the same thing as kefir. I make my own kefir and love it; I bet at a natural foods type grocery they would have plain kefir, but most grocery stores have flavored kefir at least.

  3. Well, now I just looked at a post about making laban and it’s definitely not the same as kefir, despite multiple sites equating them. For kefir you just need kefir grains (SCOBY) and you let them sit with your milk at room temp. No cooking etc. Maybe laban is more like buttermilk (some sites suggest this) but I’ve never made buttermilk or yogurt so I don’t know much about their details.

  4. Yes, I discovered full-fat, chemical-free yogurts are a rare find in the States. The yummy Greek ones are yummy because they are not just yogurt; they have a generous helping of cream mixed in! I’ll think of you all the next time I serve a bowl of laban to the kids!

    • Haha, well at the very least the extra cream can fatten Ruby up a little bit! :)

      Enjoy that laban for us!! We miss you guys!

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