I can just imagine how kishk came to be, in the chill mountains of Lebanon where there was a need to store up nutrient-rich, delicious foodstuffs for the winter months (this is the Lebanese food preservation tradition known as mouneh). Like the ultra good-for-you lentil and rice combo in mujadara, powdered kishk is made from powerhouses in the nutrition department, laban (yogurt) and bulghur (cracked wheat).

The making of kishk powder is very old country, which is pretty much the only place it is made: the laban and bulghur are kneaded together like a dough for many consecutive days as it dries out, under the Lebanese summer sun of course, and ferments. The laban is serious protein and gets tangier the longer it ferments; the cracked wheat is a near-perfect grain, nutty in flavor and packed with sustenance.

The dried amalgam is then ground into a powder which is then used to make lots of things, but most especially a soup that is the very definition of porridge. Goldilocks must have been a brunette under it all, a Lebanese who liked her kishk so much she would break and enter just to get her bowls full.

Kishk is not all that easy to find, which may explain why it was never a part of our kitchen at home. If you’re lucky enough to have a local Middle Eastern grocery, they should have kishk powder. Buy kishk online from the great Kalustyan’s, which carries kishk imported from Beirut, or go all the way and try some from my favorite maker of organic mouneh, Mymouneh, online here at BuyLebanese, a great resource for ordering hard-to-find products from Lebanon.

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