Called samboussek (for small individual semicircular pieces), or manoushet jebneh (for big pizza-pie ones), these cheese flatbreads are made in Lebanon with a special kind of cheese, akkawi (from the Palestinian city of Akka) as we call it in Lebanon, which is a white cheese that melts well.
These herb pies are mainly of spinach, with onion and lemony sumac. An even better version is the baa’leh (purslane) pies, which have a very earthy taste.
No one does lahm b’ajin like an Armenian bakery. A good one must be a paper-thin flatbread, topped with a moist and spicy meat mixture.
The ultimate breakfast, a manousheh (plural manaiish) is a flatbread, a pizza-like pie, covered with za’atar (thyme, sesame seeds, sumac, and salt) mixed with oil, and baked in the oven, or over a saj, which is a concave steel plaque with fire beneath it, and the flatbread cooks on the top. Its distinctive smell is typical of an early-morning mountain breakfast.