French specialities remain an important feature of Lebanese bakeries and pastry shops
However, traditional Lebanese bakeries have become rare. One mostly finds large bakeries that offer a fairly similar but nonetheless varied range of products: Arabic breads, all the French breads, baguettes, pastries and breakfast pastries, and also cheese and charcuterie.
The Lebanese have a fondness for French specialities: “There are a lot of French chefs working in Lebanon, and the influence of French cuisine is particularly noticeable in desserts and pastries”, notes Richard Chamaa.
One only has to look at Lebanon’s history to understand this French connection. It goes back to the First World War, when Lebanon was liberated from the Ottoman Empire. Placed under French mandate until 1943, when it became independent, the country, previously more accustomed to baklava, saw the introduction of new pastries such as flans and croissants, which are still popular today.
Pastry making is one of the traditional trades in Lebanon. Devoted to their traditions, the Lebanese love their festive celebrations, which are a perfect opportunity to enjoy time with family and friends. Local bakeries take advantage of these convivial occasions to offer holiday products or creations that combine the best of French and Lebanese influences.