Pizza is a universal language. Every corner of the world has their own version, from Chicago deep dish to classic Italian thin crust to Western European ‘tarte flambee’ or ‘flammkuchee’. Lebanese pizza is very distinct too, engrained in rich history of Middle Eastern food culture.
Lebanese pizza is extremely delicious, and nobody does it like Manoosh – it’s even our namesake! Our menu is packed with options that are bound to ensnare the senses and get your mouth watering. Let’s take a look at what Lebanese pizza is, where it comes from and what it looks like today.
What Is Lebanese Pizza?
The Lebanese version of pizza is what is known as man’oushe, which consists of flat bread topped with oil and za’atar, plus toppings like cheese, pickles, veggies, labneh and meat and, much like pizza, is traditionally cooked over a wood fire.
The word man’oushe comes from the Arabic word na’sh or naqsh, which means to ‘engrave’ or ‘carve out’. This most likely refers to the indentations that are left in the dough when it is kneaded.
The dish was popular in the Levant region of the Middle East, which today comprises of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine and Israel – each now with their own spellings and variations of the dish.
The History of Lebanese Pizza
Man’oushe is entwined in Lebanese food culture dating back thousands of years.
In the past, even the smallest villages in Lebanon have one or more bakeries dedicated to making man’oushe and older generations of Lebanese people will often recite the names of families famous for their own recipes. Traditionally women would bake dough in communal oven to later be topped with different ingredients for different meals.
Lebanese pizza is often smaller than a traditional pizza, allowing for easy folding. And the dough can either be rolled very thin or kept thick for smaller servings!
While there are myriad variations of Lebanese pizza, they usually contain three key ingredients: fresh baked bread, olive oil and tangy zaa’tar – a combination of herbs and spices, prominently thyme. The use of za’atar can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians and has been used in Lebanon cooking for thousands of years.
Lahembajin is another kind of Lebanese pizza, a name that literally translates to mean ‘meat on dough’.
Lahembajin basically consists of a thin, round, flat bread topped with a mixture of ground meat, vegetables and herbs that is then baked in a wood fired oven. The meat is commonly lamb or beef, the vegetables are usually onion, capsicum and tomato, and herbs can include parsley, mint and cilantro.
Lebanese Pizza From Manoosh
We are proud to offer a huge range of delicious Lebanese pizzas that will instantly transport you to the Middle East.
From the classic zaa’tar (a delicious mix of ground thyme, sesame seeds and sumac), to our Beirut Style (zaa’tar, haloumi, tomato, onion and chilli flakes), to our famous lahembajin, there’s a Lebanese pizza for everyone at Manoosh.