Sharing the authentic flavours and colourful heritage of Lebanese cuisine with New Zealanders is something Kohkoz Real Lebanese Cuisine founder, Natalie Fakhoury, has always been passionate about. And now her dream is becoming reality, as Kohkoz prepares to launch into Farro Fresh Food specialty food stores and online speciality store Foobox.co.nz on Wednesday (26 July).
The Kohkoz range includes Traditional Hummus, Smoky Baba Ghanoush, Golden Falafel, Lebanese Pita Bread and For the love of Garlic – a smooth, creamy traditional Lebanese garlic dip. What helps them truly stand out from the rest is Natalie’s commitment to making Lebanese cuisine the way it’s meant to be. Her secret recipes have been handed down through her family for generations and she doesn’t cut any corners when it comes to quality and flavour.
“I want Kohkoz products to taste the way they do in Lebanon,” says Natalie. “This means making them in small batches using only the best, freshest ingredients from New Zealand and Lebanon, and packing in bags of flavour. We get fantastic feedback not just from Lebanese New Zealanders who are excited to finally see ‘real Lebanese food’ available here, but from Kiwis who appreciate the quality and fresh flavours Kohkoz offers.”
For the love of Garlic, in particular, is a Lebanese classic that’s the first of its kind on New Zealand shelves. Made from locally sourced lemons, garlic, olive oil and salt, hand whipped to perfection, it’s already got customers hooked.
“Garlic dip is traditionally used in Lebanon as a dip for roast chicken,” explains Natalie, “but its culinary applications are almost endless. It can be added to sauces, mashed potatoes or dressings, used to make delicious garlic bread, as a marinade or crushed garlic replacement in cooking. It’s one product I make sure I always have in my fridge.”
Kohkoz Traditional Hummus is a Lebanese take on this classic dip. Smoother and silkier than anything you’ll currently find on the shelves, it follows the traditional Lebanese recipe using no garlic – and the flavours certainly don’t suffer for it. Quite the opposite in fact.
“To make our Traditional Hummus we use dried chickpeas that are soaked, boiled and hand blended with the perfect amount of Lebanese tahini,” explains Natalie. “This gives it an amazing silky smooth consistency that’s pretty addictive! Kiwis can’t imagine hummus with no garlic, but it’s something you simply have to try – the taste is incredible.”
Garlic dip and hummus aside, the rest of the Kohkoz range is equally impressive. The smooth, Smoky Baba Ghanoush would make an exciting addition to any mezza platter; Kohkoz famous Golden Falafel has been described as ‘falafel like no other’, crunchy on the outside and fluffy in the middle; and the soft Lebanese Pita Bread is the perfect accompaniment to the other products.
While Natalie is eagerly anticipating seeing her products gracing the shelves of Farro Fresh Food Stores and Foodbox.co.nz, you’ll still see her and her family selling Kohkoz Real Lebanese Cuisine at the markets, Howick on a Saturday and Clevedon on a Sunday.
“I’m passionate about Farmers Markets. They’re where we began and we’ve developed a truly dedicated customer base there. But I’m also really excited about sharing Kohkoz Real Lebanese Cuisine with a wider audience through Farro Fresh and Foodbox. I can’t wait to hear what Kiwis think.”
Kohkoz Traditional Hummus, For the love of Garlic, Smoky Baba Ghanoush, Golden Falafel and Lebanese Pita Bread will be available from July 26 at all Farro Fresh Food stores and Foodbox.co.nz.
You’ll also find Natalie and the Kohkoz range at the Auckland Food Show, 27-30 July 2017, offering special deals and falafel cooking demonstrations.
www.kohkoz.co.nz (Live Monday 31 July)