There was a time during the Lebanese civil war and for a while after, when I spent nearly 14 years without going back to Lebanon. So naturally, the first time I went back, I wanted to eat everything I had growin up there, recovering long lost flavours that I had missed in my years abroad. But there was one thing I had lost a taste for and that was raw liver. Like most Lebanese, I ate it from when I could chew — it is a great Lebanese delicacy, often eaten for breakfast from a freshly killed lamb — but my years in London and Paris had made me somewhat squeamish, at least as far as raw liver was concerned although not for very long. After gingerly taking a bite or two, I got used again to the faintly bloody taste and the slippery texture and tucked in. And I now make a pilgrimage every time I go to visit my mother to Qal’et el-Rumiyeh where they rear and butcher their own lambs to eat all kinds of raw meat dishes including raw liver.
The liver is always served with diced fat tail — both should be at room temperature — and a selection of spices: white pepper, cayenne pepper, sumac, cumin, coriander and salt. The way you eat it is by dipping a piece of liver into each of the seasonings, then put the seasoned liver in a piece of pita bread, add a cube of fat tail a mint leaf or two depending on the size then wrap the bread around as in the picture below and pop the scrumptious bite into your mouth for an absolutely delectable morsel. It is still time for breakfast where I am in Beirut now but I will not be having raw liver this morning. Something else which I will post in a day or two!
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