Lebanese candies (Malban)

Roasted pistachios: This  is the most common  purchase prior to  leaving Beirut; so much so that the Customs officer in the States would frequently  say ” Did you bring  pistachios?” upon glancing at my passport.

This time, I was rushed and half the city’s roads were blocked due to security measures for a highly publicized presidential visit;  I did not have time to stop by my favorite nut roaster so I opted for a box of assorted malban and marzabein from Goodies.

Just what is malban?

Malban resembles fruit jelly, except it is traditionally made with grape molasses, thickened with starch and flavored with rose water, mastic or orange blossom and stuffed with pistachios.

Malban these days is covered with amardeen (apricot paste) or rose petals or crushed pistachios, even chocolate!

It is found at  most Arabic sweets makers, along with other confections like marzabein (marzipan), which is usually stuffed with pistachio paste.


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29 Comments

  1. Posted October 15, 2010 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    Ahhh, heavenly sweets. Safe travels, my dear.

  2. Posted October 15, 2010 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    All of the candies sound amazing.

  3. Posted October 16, 2010 at 12:28 am | Permalink

    Questions from customs that sound so familiar, LOL! Love the candy Joumana. Ever so intruguing.. mmm!

  4. Posted October 16, 2010 at 2:14 am | Permalink

    These look amazing! The “jelly” description reminds me of Turkish Delight a little.

  5. Posted October 16, 2010 at 4:26 am | Permalink

    They look very< addictive! I love Middle eastern sweets.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  6. Posted October 16, 2010 at 5:06 am | Permalink

    I love your blog. We are big fans of Middle Eastern food especially sweets! Keep it coming.

  7. Posted October 16, 2010 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    This is one sweet treat I know I would love, as I am a HUGE fan of pistachios. Now if I only I could find a way to procure it here in the US…

  8. Posted October 16, 2010 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Oh darn, I was so hoping for a recipe ;) These sound wonderful and I am a huge fan of pistachios. The apricot paste and chocolate combined with pistachios must taste heavenly!

  9. Joumana
    Posted October 16, 2010 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    soon Susan, soon! :)
    Valerie, bear with me, I have got something in the works!

  10. Posted October 16, 2010 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    I love everything Lebonese… especially the sweets…
    I was hoping for recipes, but these are not so easy, maybe?
    :)
    Valerie

  11. Posted October 16, 2010 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Love those deserts but did not know there name. Have a recipe on how to make them?

  12. Posted October 16, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    When my Husband came back from a visit to Lebanon our relatives sent these back with him!!! We had to hide them as our oldest boy loves them.. So so so Yummy!!!

  13. Posted October 16, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Love the photos. Some of these look like mooncakes. I was just in a Middle Eastern store yesterday looking for some things form your blog. I did pick up some rosewater and tahini, and saw many pistachio candies and didn’t know what kind to get. I now know you probably can’t go wrong! Yummy!

  14. Posted October 16, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    these look so pretty…

  15. Posted October 16, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    I know these sweets some Lebanese friends brought them when they were visiting Greece. They taste fantastic.

  16. Posted October 16, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Ooh! Looks like Turkish Delight! I need to find some of that here in the States. I finished all the boxes I brought back from Turkey (sniffle, sniffle).

  17. Posted October 16, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    These sweets seem so organic & truly beautiful. I cannot imagine a more perfect sweet either with tea or at the end of a meal. Wonderful! Thanks for sharing.

  18. Posted October 16, 2010 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    That last photo sure did make my mouth water!

  19. Posted October 17, 2010 at 1:21 am | Permalink

    Thank you for your visit and your kind words. I love the flavors of your blog and visit it quite often. I was hoping to find a way to make a shawarmah at home. From what I recall it is a lebanese dish. Am I right.

  20. SYLVIA
    Posted October 17, 2010 at 2:06 am | Permalink

    Everyone flips for these ultimate Lebanese addictive sweets. Elegant end to any meal. Joumana, can you order them on line?

  21. Posted October 17, 2010 at 3:31 am | Permalink

    Il y a possibilité d’avoir au moins l’une de ces recettes????
    Bon dimanche et à bientôt.

  22. Posted October 17, 2010 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    les gros plan sur ces bonbons c’est …mortel!!!Pierre

  23. Posted October 17, 2010 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Wowww super tempting candies..

  24. Posted October 17, 2010 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    This is exactly the kind of “souvenirs” we buy when on vacation. I don’t know what I would do to protect such luscious treats from custom agents. Oh I did buy my husband and gorgeous (and costly) date mustard in London several months ago that was confiscated by customs! Boo hoo that was horrilble. Anyway, these candies look fabulous!

  25. Joumana
    Posted October 17, 2010 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    @James: yes, shawarma is found in every street corner on Lebanon and is our national sandwich, with either beef (or lamb) and chicken. I am sure you will find the meat recipe easy to replicate at home,especially if you have a grill.
    http://www.tasteofbeirut.com/2009/08/shawarma-sandwich/

  26. Posted October 17, 2010 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    I would love to be in a place where pistachios are abundant, it’s such a versatile nut. These desserts look sensational.

  27. Posted October 17, 2010 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Thank you. I don’t know how I missed that post on your site.

  28. Posted October 18, 2010 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Reading and looking at the photographs of these candies is making me drool.

  29. Posted October 19, 2010 at 3:56 am | Permalink

    absolutly yummy.
    lovely and delicious blog too
    bises from France
    Delphine

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