Most of you have heard of pomegranate molasses by now. The culinary media has fixated on it, reaching spontaneous orgasm at the mere mention of it. But up until just recently, I could NOT find the stuff. I wanted it with all of my person, but couldn’t locate it in any of our local supermarkets, despite the fact that our supermarkets have at LEAST 75 different varieties of corn chip. FAIL.

But then I looked again, just out of morsels of hope I had floating around in my bloodstream, leftover from the election. And there it was! To be honest, I’d have preferred it if it were more pretentiously packaged. It was just this bottle with a bunch of Arabic writing on it, and I don’t mean to be offensive or anything, but Arabs are really shitty marketers. That’s why they’re so angry, I think. They have nothing to WANT. God knows what I would do if I stopped lusting after new and shiny things. An empty shell, most likely. With a savings account of some sort. But I digress, as I tend to do.

I brought the stuff home and very predictably wanted to use it right immediately now. After notifying Tina, of course, since she’s my favorite little Lebanese blogger of all time, and the source of my desire for pomegranate molasses. She’s not angry at all, BTW. She’s given herself over to consumerism with fervor, and it shows in her sparkling personality. Also, I had bitched pretty extensively to her re: the lack of pomegranate molasses in the area, with the secret fear that it was possibly something she made up or that they only have in her scenic and peaceful land of Canada (a super place since they haven’t been hit with the economic crisis, especially since they don’t have any real currency, but instead trade exclusively in pelts).

So I went after some Lebanese recipes online to honor her truthfulness about the existence of this syrupy goodness. And everything frightened me. “I don’t HAVE any lamb!” I panicked. “I only have this home-ground beef and salt pork mixture. And I don’t even know where to find bulghur wheat. I only recently found out what it was!” In my panic, I just kind of mish-moshed some flavors together in my head that I thought would probably be something in which I’d want to swim nude. So, I bring you meatballs spiced with garam masala, coriander, garlic, and shallot, and glazed in a reduction of red wine, beef/pork drippings, and pomegranate molasses (durrrr). And it was bootylicious. And by bootylicious, I don’t mean tasted like ass, I mean that it was so delicious that I had to find a made-up word to describe it. I served it with spicy glazed carrot coins and a rice pilaf made from brown rice, ghee, turmeric, dried tart cherries, and almond meal. The almond meal was kind of a gamble, but I thought it would work out kind of like sliced almonds in a pilaf, but without the weird textural business trying to compete with the nutty, chewy presence of the rice. That, too, was so good that I might have to steal another made-up word. My rice? It was CRUNK. Biiiiaaaatch.

6 thoughts on “Lebianism”

  1. Our pelt-based economy is highly resilient, thank you very much, and props up our disproportionately huge alcohol export industry.

    Also, Arabic products are not shittily-marketed – they are deliberately hostile. Arabs don’t actually want you buying tahini or porn molasses, because you’ll only use it to bastardize their carefully guarded, traditional recipes.

    The only exception to this that I have encountered is Arak, the flamboyantly poisonous liquor, which I’ve had more than one Middle Eastern family urge me to drink for their own grim amusement.

    In other news, those meatballs are making me painfully hungry.

  2. Mmmm, balls. I have a little lebanese grocery SLASH pita bakery SLASH gyro deli near home that I always see pomegranate molasses in, and always stare at it, pondering the possibilities, but never buy. Now perhaps I will. And maybe I’ll give their bulgar wheat a try too.

    I crave lebanese gyros fortnightly, by the way. It’s all about the sauce. So much better than tzatziki, and I love tzatziki.

  3. OH THIS IS AN EXCITING POST INDEED!!! Your balls-o-meat look delicious. I couldn’t help snickering about your comment RE: the Arabs don’t want you to know their carefully guarded culinary secrets. Every time that I ask my Dad how he makes something he ‘forgets’ to tell me about one key ingredient. On purpose, methinks.

    Arabs are rivalled only by the Greeks and Chinese in thinking that:
    a) everything from paper to kebabs was ‘invented’ by their culture.
    b) Their recipes are the best and every other home cook makes them wrong.

    PS – I make kafta with a mix of either groung beef and lamb or beef and pork (depending on what I have on hand), and every time my Dad dies just a little bit on the inside – possibly because of the pork, and possibly because it’s better than his.

    OH! And I like your rice.
    Okay, that’s all I have to say for now.

  4. At first I found it hilarious that you were writing about lesbianism. I thought we would have to re-envision the overly large lesbian (who is not so lesbian?!?!) in your cooking class.

    Then I realized it was lebianism and I was totally engrossed. I have no lebanese friends here is STUPID FLUCTUATING WEATHER Georgia. But I am totally intrigued by this pomegranate molasses thing you talk about. I LURVE pomegranates. They are up there with spinach on my list of favorite foods. I will have to search for these and try them in my own kitchen.

  5. Is “Lebianism” ebonics for Lesbianism or a made up word involving the Lebanon? I’ve been spending a lot of time listening to ebonics lately but I also noticed you made saffron rice so it was a toss up.

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