Monday, 27 September 2010

First we take Lebanon then we take Syria

It brings me great pleasure to inform you that yet another of Australia's culinary deficiencies has been adequately addressed. At last, after years of endless searching, I managed to find a place that sells olives the way I like them best: in Israel they're referred to as Syrian olives, in here they're sold as Lebanese olives, but I don't care; I like these olives.
So, for the record, Syrian/Lebanese olives are smallish green olives that are pickled for extended periods in salty water. By adding secret herbs and spices, and through a process where the olives are mildly crashed, they grow soft, bitter and salty. And yummy!
Thanks should be given to Oasis Bakery, a place that sells lots of the food I love best: pitas covered with zaatar, proper pita bread that you can properly dip in humus, and of course shawarma. The shawarma is a far cry from the standards I grew up on, reminding me that beggars can't be choosers; yet it is much better than the Greek style souvlaki that seems to dominate Melbourne's kebab market with its yogurt based sauces. The Greeks just don't know what they're missing.
Pit Oasis' olives to the side of well made humus wiped with quality pita, and the result is simple: bliss.

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