Serve up Lebanese delicacies in the UAE with e-store Jarra

The kumquat crush artisanal marmalade. Supplied
The kumquat crush artisanal marmalade. Supplied
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Updated 11 January 2021

Serve up Lebanese delicacies in the UAE with e-store Jarra

The kumquat crush artisanal marmalade. Supplied

DUBAI: A game-changing online platform is bringing the premium tastes of Lebanon all the way to the UAE. It all started with the Lebanese lawyer-turned-mompreneur Annabelle El-Fanj moved to Dubai two years ago and couldn’t find the food she grew up on.

“Food is a part of culture,” El-Fanj told Arab News. “The more diverse the culture, the more exquisite is the flavor of the food. This is what I want to share with the Emirati market — the diversity of our culture and the know-how of the Lebanese people when it comes to food.”

She called her family-run startup “Jarra,” which is a traditional type of jar made of clay. “I wanted to have something that unified everyone,” explains El-Fanj. “Everyone has a jar in their culture, whether in Europe, Africa or Asia. It’s one of the basic things that humanity created for the kitchen.”

Miel Du Levant is the only organic Lebanese honey certified at 0% sucrose since 2000 and is available at Jarra. Supplied

Ever since launching Jarra in October 2020, she has worked hand in hand with Lebanon’s local artisans who export a select variety of handmade Levantine delicacies from Beirut and other Lebanese villages, including dairy products, olive wood spoons, award-winning olive oils, jams, marmalades, jars of honey and vegan options. Aside from the fact that all used ingredients are locally sourced, El-Fanj believes it’s the passionate artisans behind the products that give the products soul.

The Khoury brothers' garlic honey confit is available on Jarra. Supplied

Small jars of green onion pesto and garlic honey confit, among others, have been created by brothers Dany and Nabil Khoury, who founded Beirut’s organic food shop “Dry and Raw” in the midst of the country’s ongoing banking crisis. Meanwhile, in West Bekaa, a cooperative of 11 senior women have contributed their high-calcium goat labneh. “They don’t know how to write or read, but they make the best labneh ever. They do this with pride,” El-Fanj said.

Although Jarra’s offerings have attracted Lebanese consumer expats living in Dubai, El-Fanj is heartened by how the city’s British and French communities have also warmed to the products. “I love to meet people,” she said. “This is what life is about, it’s about meeting people and sharing a good meal.”

COVID-19 kills men’s fashion buzz in Milan

COVID-19 kills men’s fashion buzz in Milan
Updated 15 January 2021

COVID-19 kills men’s fashion buzz in Milan

COVID-19 kills men’s fashion buzz in Milan

MILAN: A year after the last COVID-free catwalk shows in Milan, men’s fashion week begins on Friday, but without the buzz of its traditional audience of buyers, bloggers, celebrities and media.

As the pandemic continues to upend Italy’s crucial luxury sector nearly 12 months after it first swept through the country, fashion houses have turned to technology to showcase their fall/winter 2021-22 collections.

Shows will be broadcast live on the fashion houses’ own websites or be replaced with pre-recorded presentations, short films and other artistic projects. Others such as Dolce & Gabbana have withdrawn entirely.

The four-day men’s fashion event takes place with infections rising in Italy’s Lombardy region with a return a full lockdown possible as early as the weekend.

Lombardy, whose capital is Milan, is one of five in Italy classified “orange” by the government, which means that stores and most schools are closed, while a curfew remains in force at night.

Among those opting for live shows to be broadcast by the fashion houses are Fendi, Etro and Kway.

Most other brands, however, including Ermenegildo Zegna, Tod’s, Prada and Church’s, have opted for pre-records – choices that allow for creative freedom but lack the immediacy and drama of live shows.

Dolce & Gabbana, which was originally scheduled to offer a traditional runway show on January 16, announced on Monday its decision to pull out entirely.

In view of COVID-19, it said, “the conditions essential to the realisation of our fashion show are not met.”

For the moment, no digital presentation is planned.