The word “Labneh” has entered the 2023 version of the popular French dictionary, “Le Petit Robert”, which was developed by the lexicographer Paul Robert in the sixties.
The word, which is derived from the Lebanese word “Laban” (Yogurt), is an essential food item and ingredient in the traditional Lebanese breakfast.
The Lebanese-French chef, Karim Haidar, said to Arab News that the decision is not surprising since, over the years, French diners have grown a love for Labneh, which is served in many Lebanese restaurants and supermarkets in France.
He explained that the procedure of preparing Labneh stems from the tradition of fermenting goat’s milk into a more-solid form, which is then wrapped in small balls and preserved in olive oil.
The Labneh is a traditional Lebanese breakfast food, mostly consumed with fresh mint and drizzled with olive oil or as a sandwich spread. It is also prepared in small balls for preservation, a traditional staple of the Lebanese mouneh.
The introduction of the word Labneh into the French dictionary comes at a time when Lebanese emigration to France has increased in the past few years due to Lebanon’s numerous crises.
However, Haidar believes that the French interest in this yogurt goes back to the 1975 emigration, which was significant.
“We are witnessing for years now the love of French people for Labneh, and French food culture opened itself to foreign food cultures in the last 30 years,” he said.
Lebanese cuisine has been booming abroad, with more and more Lebanese restaurants opening in many countries, including France, serving authentic Lebanese food to people of different nationalities and cultures.