On our trip to Jordan this spring, we were fortunate enough to be invited by the local Bedouin guide to visit his home and taste fresh butter and Shaneeheh. Ashoosh is a huge fan of Jordanian Shaneeneh, so of course we accepted. In case you are wondering, Shaneeneh is a salty-sour goat milk yogurt, that is liquid enough to drink. It reminds me a little of buttermilk, if you have ever tasted that.
This was a very traditional Bedouin camp, except for one small detail – the recycling containers. I find it rather amusing because the Bedouin reuse things so extensively that there must be hardly anything available to recycle. But I guess it’s part of the branding for the ecolodge.
Okay, I lied. There was one other not-exactly-traditional element. Can you spot it?
Our host explained that in the past, when guests arrived they would hang their swords high on the wall as a sign of friendship. He added that now, they hung something else in the same place.
You guessed it – their mobile phones. It was the one place in the tent with a decent signal.
But pretty much everything else was authentic, from the baby goats just outside the tent…
… to the Bedouin dog bringing the flock home. The dogs look friendly, but they are all business. You do not want to get between them and their sheep and goats.
The Bedouin are known for their hospitality for good reason. We were treated to local “Tafilah jokes” while sampling fresh bread, butter and shaneeneh. They also explained how many different products are made from goats milk, including butter, shaneeneh, labneh and jameed. Each additional step produces a product that is drier, richer, more pungent, and of course, more delicious. I won’t bore you with the details, but if anyone is curious, I’d be happy to explain.