orange blossom water

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Coffee: White or black

 

 

For those of you who dread the jolt that caffeine-laden Turkish coffee inflicts, there is  white coffee. White coffee is offered at get-togethers in Lebanon and it is simply boiled water with a few drops of orange blossom water (to taste) and sugar (optional).

In Lebanon there are a few major Turkish coffee providers (offered […]

By |January 22nd, 2012|Drinks|33 Comments
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Spiced brioche rolls

There is a very traditional sweet bread/cake in Lebanon that used to be sold in the streets of Beirut by cart vendors; this cake is called sfoof and has a very distinct bright yellow color due to turmeric in the batter.

Apparently, turmeric is a very beneficial spice and I had been looking for […]

By |July 16th, 2011|Sweets|28 Comments
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Mini-kadaifi cakes

 

If you walk into a pastry shop in Beirut (specializing in Arabic sweets), a good third of all pastries will be made with this dough, called kataifi or shredded phyllo dough. I saw  once  how this dough is made: A batter is piped through hundreds of minuscule little holes onto a hot griddle which […]

By |June 21st, 2011|Sweets|33 Comments
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Sweet vermicelli pasta (Sh’ariyeh be-sukkar)

 

In the Lebanese kitchen, capellini or vermicelli pasta is used on a daily basis to make our rice and pasta pilaf. This is a sweet version I read about in Ina’am Atalla’s Simply Lebanese. Mrs Atalla recalls how this dessert used to be her mother’s standby when people would drop by for a visit […]

By |May 20th, 2011|Sweets|23 Comments
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Makaroons

 

The French have their macarons, the Italians their macaroni, theLebanese  their makaroons. Closer to the Italian version, Lebanese makaroons are made with flour (semolina or plain flour) and water into a dough and can be savory or sweet.

You will get a sweet version today; these are also called “Zeinab’s fingers” assabeh  Zeinab. Flavored […]

By |January 18th, 2011|Others|49 Comments
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Sweet bulgur (Smeedeh Hamra)

 

Rummaging through the kitchen cupboards at my parents’ house can yield interesting discoveries: I found a jar that contained  a viscous, caramel-colored paste. Can you guess what it was?

I called  the jar’s donor, Um Elias,  mountain-dweller, mother of six and seasoned farmer.

Her answer was: ” Debess el-enab, from your grapes!” i.e.

GRAPE […]

By |October 13th, 2010|Salty|35 Comments
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Rice pudding with geranium leaves (Muazzabeh)

 

 
Geraniums are very popular in Lebanon; even the most modest home will adorn its doorsteps or balcony with a pot filled with these cheerful flowers; as a kid, I would  secretly pluck  the petals of our potted geraniums with a girlfriend: the idea was to blot  them onto  our 10-year-old lips hoping to […]

By |July 22nd, 2010|Sweets|35 Comments
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Date losanges

 

If you happen to be visiting someone in Beirut,  chances are you will be served this; its rich, sweet and smooth taste belies its utter  simplicity. A dear friend Yola Oudaimy (her son is my daughter’s boyfriend) offered me a tray one time; had to have it, over and over again; especially  with […]

By |July 15th, 2010|Sweets|38 Comments
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Holy bread

 

It may seem strange to some of you not familiar with the Near East to be eating holy bread as a snack, but here  it is sold in grocery stores as well as used in religious service; I am starving, having spent all day driving around; I walked into the grocery store in town, […]

By |June 26th, 2010|Sweets|33 Comments
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Shredded phyllo with clotted cream (Ossmaliyeh bel Ashta)

 

This is a homestyle version of one of the most popular desserts served in traditional Lebanese restaurants and pastry shops in Beirut. It comes either in a large pie format or in individual servings.

It is composed of a super crispy base of fried or oven-toasted shredded phyllo  dough, topped with unsweetened ashta or […]

By |May 31st, 2010|Sweets|73 Comments