Monday, 9 March 2009

Libyans and the Culture of Baryush - by Aboubakar Famau

Libyans call it baryush, local slang for ‘croissant’. For most Libyans, the day won’t be a complete without a bite of baryush bread that will keep the mouth busy. Baryush is a kind of bread but much softer than the normal one. It can be bought from any nearby café or restaurant in Libya. However, for the past thirty-eight years in Tripoli there’s place that has set a legacy of baryush. The taste of the baryush bought from this cafe one can never find it anywhere else. “I always take my baryush from this joint, because here it is not like any other," said one customer to The Tripoli Post. The name of the café is not inscribed anywhere; so don’t even bother to look for it. However, many people are aware of it and refer to it as Hajj Fathi’s place. For people with a sweet tooth, this place would be a frequent stop. It is the most loved baryush cafe in all Tripoli, located along the Mizran/Haiti Street in the heart of Libya’s capital. It does not matter what time of the day or night you choose to visit this café; you will always find it thronged like no other. Everyone wants a bite of the honey-smeared baryush. Oh yes, it is smeared with pure honey. It is so delicious that the sight of it will make your mouth water. The good old croissant, popularly known in Libya as bayrush, over baked and less fluffy, could be filled with many things inside but not with the ingredients one normally tastes in this place “The place opens in the crack of dawn at exactly 4 a.m., breaks at 2 p.m. for an hour’s break then resumes at 3 p.m. stretching its services until 11 p.m.,” Hajj Fathi's café manager, Mohammad Al Khumsi, who has been a loyal worker of the café for the last seventeen years.As old as the hills of the desert, Hajj Fathi’s café dates far way back to the early seventies, when it was established.Just give it a try at the Mizran joint and you will never regret the day you were born because you will find the experience almost unforgettable. And believe you me; don’t be surprised if you find yourself becoming a regular visitor to the place. “We fill in our baryush with pure honey mixed with some crashed pieces of almond,” Mohammad explained. In other places, the filling of the baryush is also made up of chocolate or honey, but the honey is not as pure as the one used at Hajj Fathi’s place where the tenderness of the baryush is quite unique. “In a day we sell between two thousand two hundred and two thousand six hundred baryush. Prior to the filling we warm them in an oven,” the expert at this café told The Tripoli Post. The baryush is also served with three types of shakes blended with milk and ice that are also available at the café. They serve them with nuts, milk and banana, strawberries, banana and milk, and banana shake. The combination of these quality shakes with the baryush has been called “an energy power-house”. It is what helps make this joint stand out from the crowd. Hajj Fathi’s cafe currently employs twenty-five people

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