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Lebanese Cheese (Jibne)

Simplicity at its best. Four words that can fully describe the cheesemaking tradition in Lebanon and the area that surrounds it.

Similar to any country in the world, Lebanon has its own variety of cheeses. While the cheeses it produces are mostly restricted to white and fresh cheese, they still deserve recognition and appreciation. Among Akkawi, Nabulsi and Halloumi, some might forget to mention Jibneh Baladieh (Local Lebanese Cheese) despite being one of the most common cheeses commercially. Found in every household and in every restaurant’s mezze spread, this firm white cheese is creamier and incredibly fresh if made at home.

Lebanese Cheese (Jibne)

If you’re reading this recipe thinking this will be a multi-day, sensitively complex process, you are in for a surprise. Making this local cheese is easy, inexpensive and ideal to witness the fascinating transformation of milk into cheese. Like all Lebanese dairy recipes, only a few ingredients are needed: milk, white vinegar and salt.

While cheesemaking in Lebanon is now getting more popularized and can be found in coastal areas and even in cities, those living in villages still wait for raw milk to be available from local farms in order to make their cheese. Since it is difficult to access raw milk, this recipe will require store bought pasteurized whole milk.

Preparation & Cooking Time: 1h

Serves :200g

Ingredients you will need

  • 4 l of whole milk
  • 120 ml of white vinegar
  • 15-20 g of salt


  • Pot
  • Cheesecloth
  • Spider spoon
  • Bowl


  1. Add the milk to a pot over high heat until it boils while stirring constantly to avoid burning the milk.
  2. When the milk starts boiling, reduce the heat to low and gradually add in the vinegar for the milk to curd. Depending on the vinegar used, you might need more or less than the specified amount. Stop adding in vinegar as soon as the milk curdles and starts separating.
  3. Line a colander with a cheesecloth over a large bowl, to catch the whey that will be used to brine the cheese in.
  4. Using a spider spoon, scoop out the curds repeatedly, piling them in the cheesecloth until no more solids are visible.
  5. Wrap the cheesecloth into a ball form and twist to squeeze out as much fluids as you can. The more liquid you can squeeze out the faster the cheese will mould. If needed, put a heavy object over the cheese to drain out any excess liquid.
  6. Place the cheese in a bowl to take shape. Keep it for 10 to 20 minutes at most before you unwrap the cheese.
  7. In the meantime, strain about 750 ml of the whey collected in the bowl to make it more clear.
  8. Cut the cheese into squares or keep whole and place in a deep container. Pour the strained whey over the cheese to cover it and add salt according to preference. Store in the refrigerator for about two weeks.

Questions and Tips

  1. Can we use skimmed milk to prepare the cheese?
  2. Using skimmed milk can be used but will result in a cheese of different flavor, texture and firmness.
  3. Can we store the cheese in the freezer?
  4. Storing the cheese in the freezer will affect its texture when defreezed
  5. Salt helps with the conservation of the cheese, it helps slow down bacteria and prevents the cheese from becoming overly acidic.
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