The Spanish military of BRILIB XXXVIII spread Spanish culture through cooking, teaching the Lebanese civilian population in the Eastern Sector of UNIFIL how to prepare typical Spanish dishes.
Sancho Panza, a key character in Miguel de Cervantes' masterpiece, Don Quixote. Sancho Panza is characterised as a great lover of food, hence the name of the programme. This programme is a cultural exchange activity between the Spanish contingent and the Lebanese population through gastronomy, with the preparation and tasting of traditional Spanish and Lebanese food.
The CIMIC unit, the Spanish battalion and the Engineer unit have carried out programme activities in four Lebanese towns, Marjayoun, Abu Qamhah, Kleyaa and Deir Mimess. They have taught how to cook paella, potato omelette and gazpacho. A ham slicing technique class has also been held.
In Marjayoun, the cooking classes were held at the local Technical School for 14 students specialising in catering, while in Abu Qamhah, Kleyaa and Deir Mimes they were aimed at the general public, with more than 300 people attending.
Lebanese staff also prepared typical Lebanese food, such as fattush, rice with kefta and mahalabia.
During the preparation of the different dishes, some of the Spanish staff organised football matches and games with the children, until it was time for the tasting.
With these cultural exchange programmes, Spain is trying to achieve a better understanding and integration between the Lebanese population and the UNIFIL forces, in order to achieve peace and stability in southern Lebanon.