It started,” says Zico, “in 1984. Me and Rabih Mroueh needed an excuse to see a friend and we took a labneh, and said it was Eid al-Labneh and from this time ’til now we have held it. Sometimes it is wartime and sometimes it is peacetime, but every year we try to do this.”
These days, the festival takes the form of playful competition. More accurately, in fact, it takes the form of three playful competitions, each identifying and seeking relative perfection within one aspect of the excellence of labneh. As the cream of Beirut’s lactose-tolerant bohemia arrives at Zico House, they bring with them labneh submissions in the categories of appearance, taste and concept.
“They invited me to my first Eid al-Labneh,” and she never looked back. She loves it, she says, because labneh is something every Lebanese can be proud of, and it’s a “fun, silly” thing to bring together artistic people.
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Tags: Eid al-Labneh, labneh, Zico House