Food has been flavored with incense in Lebanon, in communities across the board; usually, pastries, such as maamoul or pudding such as khabeessa ( a walnut studded jelly made with grape molasses or plain sugar); a popular drink too, jellab, based on date and raisin molasses is incense-flavored.
In any case, flavoring food with incense is not difficult. It is simply a matter of heating a couple of pieces of coal till incandescent, topping them with the incense stones of your choice immediately releasing an intoxicating aroma of heavy incense; to secure the incense, I went to a general store in Beirut which claimed it was the original one; never mind, they are all the original ones and sell everything under the sun from fertilizers to spices to gardening tools; in addition, they are all decked with a generous amount of dust and memories.
1. Heat the coal piece (or pieces).
2. As soon as it is red-hot or incandescent, transfer to the vessel you are planning to use (it could be just a solid metal incense-burner or bowl or solid glassware. Top it with the incense pieces to allow them to smoke.
3. To infuse the dessert or dough or pudding, cover with a bigger bowl for about 15 minutes; this is sufficient time for the food to be take on the taste of the incense. Adjust the time according to your taste and desire.
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