If you are ready to venture into cooking some of your favorite manakeesh menu dishes, you’ll need to stock up on some Lebanese foods.  Lebanese cuisine is bursting with flavors – mostly spicy and savory.  In the event that you are not ready to dive into cooking actual main dishes like you find at a Lebanese restaurant Toronto or a manakeesh catering service, you can still add some Middle Eastern staples to your pantry and add a dash of Mediterranean goodness to any dish.

Where to Find a Middle Eastern Grocery Store

Before you can get items from your Middle Easter grocery store checklist, you’ll need to find a place that carries them.  Often times, Lebanese bakery shops or a manaeesh catering outfit or a Lebanese restaurant with a manakeesh menu have Middle Eastern food and staples you can purchase in addition to their prepared foods, like manakeesh pizza and other manakish favorites.  You can also look for ethnic grocers in your area.

What to Buy at Middle Eastern Grocery Stores

Here are some basic Middle Eastern grocery items you’ll want to have on your “must have” list when you go:

Za’atar – Za’atar is a thoughtful blend that no Middle Eastern cook would ever be caught without.  It is a blend of spices that typically contains dried herbs, like marjoram or thyme, dried sumac, and sesame seeds.  It can be used on practically everything – vegetables, meat, seafood, dips, bread, soups, and more.  Be sure to get an authentic marakish brand so you know it is made right and delivered fresh.

Pomegranate molasses – Pomegranate molasses is a Middle Eastern favorite way to add a little sweetness to a dish off the manakeesh menu.  This thick juice is also enjoyed as a refreshing beverage and is sold in Lebanon bakeries and on the streets by vendors in Middle Eastern countries.  Don’t be caught without it because many manakeesh menu recipes call for it.

Spices – You will want to buy some individual spices that are popular in manakish recipes.  Bay leaves, cardamom, black cumin, mint, ginger, and fennel seeds are definitely not to be left off the list.

Lamb- If you like meat in your manakeesh menu meals, you’ll love the wild taste of lamb.  Be sure to select pieces that are very fresh and season the lamb to perfection with authentic Middle Eastern seasonings.

Goat cheese – The texture of goat cheese is smooth and the taste is mild.  It goes well in many Middle Eastern dishes, so be sure to have a nice supply of it on hand.

Middle Easterners bring a lot to the table when it comes to recipes that are diverse and full of flavor and tradition.  When eating as the Middle Easterners do, you must grocery shop like they do.  Having these staples in your pantry will certainly help you when you decide to add a dash of Mediterranean flair to your own dishes, or venture out to make up manakeesh menu meals like those in your favorite Lebanese bakery or Middle Eastern restaurant.