Zeitoun, Olive Oil Brunch and the Taste of Lebanon

If you drive along the scenic Lebanese coast heading south of Beirut, the Mediterranean Sea on your right will be your constant companion. Once you approach the ancient Phoenician town of Sidon, also known as Saida, head east and you’ll reach a small village called Ain El Delb.

Olive grove at Ain el Delb *

Almost one hundred years ago, Maroun Daher El-Khoury Kassab planted around 200 olive trees in the land surrounding his home in Ain El Delb. Today, his son Ghassan cares for the olive grove where the fruit is hand-picked and cold-pressed to produce an organic, extra-virgin olive oil.



Half way around the world, Ghassan’s son Fouad Kassab, the creative talent behind thefoodblog.com.au, has made this old-world oil available in Australia. And to celebrate the launch of Zeitoun, Fouad has prepared a traditional Lebanese brunch to give his guests a taste of Lebanon.


Lebanese brunch

Zeitoun (pron. zey-toon) is the Arabic/Lebanese word for olive, and it is also the artistic label of the Kassab family’s olive oil in Arabic letters. The olives are crushed by a large millstone, then pressed and passed through a centrifuge. The result is an olive oil with a brilliant green hue, opaque and unfiltered. Fresh and slightly peppery on the palate, the oil complements the food rather than overpowers it.

The Lebanese brunch that Fouad prepared consists of traditional dishes of different flavours that highlight the taste of the olive oil.


Labneh is a light and tasty yoghurt dip that has been strained in a cloth to remove the whey.

Za’atar in olive oil

Za’atar is a a dried-herb blend with sesame seeds and thyme among other ingredients. Mixed with olive oil, it goes into making Manakish which is dough that has been topped with the fragrant mixture and baked in the oven.


Hummus is made with chickpeas and tahini (a sesame paste) and is arguably the most popular dip in Middle-Eastern cuisine.

Baba ghanouj

Baba ghannouj is a smoky eggplant dish with a good measure of healthy garlic and tahini.


Technically a dish of Aleppo, the food capital of Syria, Mhammara is a hot pepper dip made with walnuts.


Succulent figs, a staple fruit along the Mediterranean shores put a sweet end to the brunch.

Efendy Balmain
Turkish Coffee

The Zeitoun launch with a taste of Lebanon was hosted at Efendy Turkish restaurant http://www.efendy.com.au in Balmain.

Fouad Kassab

More information about Zeitoun from the website below.


*Olive grove photo courtesy of thefoodblog – used with permission


This article is posted on Gourmantic.com - All rights reserved - Copyright © 2017.

Zeitoun, Olive Oil Brunch and the Taste of Lebanon was last modified: December 20th, 2015 by Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.


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  3. se puede saber en que hoteles es esto esta muy rico toda esa comida

  4. I’ve been waiting for this post because I just knew there were going to be loads of great, tempting foodie pics – and it appears I was right. Good to see a Turkey link, too, of course. 🙂

  5. Wow – those dips look fabulous! How’s the oil?

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