(Image via Manousheh)
Touted by some as the next pizza or falafel, manoushe is beginning to take the food world by storm.
The Lebanese street food is prevalent throughout New York City and other northeastern cities. It is a flatbread often served fresh from a bakery oven and eaten on the go. It’s typically slathered in zaatar, a thyme herb mix with sesame seeds, often with dollops of labneh, a tangy thick yogurt.
New York City being a hub for immigration, it would make sense that Lebanese influence would impact food there. Immigrant entrepreneurs are using manoushe as a central focus of their eateries, which has allowed the tasty treat to flourish.
“Somebody needed to do it,” says Ziyad Hermez, owner of Manousheh NYC, New York City’s only “manousherie”.
Flatbreads make a perfect snack for busy city residents on the run, much like a slice of pizza, a bagel, or a falafel. Quick items are becoming staples of bakeries around the country, so the time is perfect for manoushe.
Many of those serving this Lebanese food believe that it hasn’t caught on previously because it wasn’t being marketed by previous generations of Lebanese immigrants, and also because they might have considered it a simple street food that wouldn’t translate to a different consumer.
As Fortune puts it, time will tell if manoushe eateries will catch on elsewhere and become a cultural phenomenon. Hermez says that they have received franchising inquiries from Los Angeles, Toronto, Montreal, Berlin and Amsterdam, leading him to believe that its global success is imminent.