June 6, 2011  •  Category:


Just what is amardeen?

For a lot of us who grew up in the Near East, it was an after-school treat; an extra-tangy, intensely flavored apricot leather that we would suck on for as long as possible (to make the pleasure last).

It is a large sheet of apricot paste made from apricots that are cultivated in the region near Damascus in Syria.

Have you ever bought fragrant apricots at a supermarket that had a heady apricoty perfume?

I haven’t. The only apricots that I have experienced with a perfume so strong you could smell it several feet away, were bought in Lebanon during the short season when they are at their best. It is an experience one should go through at least once.

To get back to this amardeen, what is it used for?

  • Cut off a piece and suck it as a sweet and tangy snack, full of vitamins and fiber.
  • Chop it and soak it in water, whirl in the blender and make a juice with it. Clickhere for the recipe.
  • Make a drink with it, try margaritas, click here for the recipe.
  • Make a pudding with it, click here for the recipe.
  • Make an apricot sorbet, click here for the recipe.
  • Make an amardeen bar with it, click here for the recipe.

The list could go on and on.


33 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Belinda @zomppa says:

    This is wonderful – so many ways to use it!!

  2. Pamela says:

    This something I really love. There sure is a reason why we call this delicios fruit “damasco”. But this yummy amardeen is so delightful, it is also prepared in my country, though the layers aren’t that thin, but basically the same idea and delicious. I know what you mean when you mention that “real” apricot perfume, not available at any store.

  3. domi says:

    Pour un petit retour en enfance….

  4. meriem says:

    Eh bien j’en apprends des choses chez toi!! Merci pour ce billet très très intéressant!! Bonne soirée.

  5. samir says:

    You have just sent me hurling back to my childhood ,a favorite snack as well for me….I have had no luck at all with supermarket apricots here in the states… . I dont even bother anymore….my dear father would always say unless you have eaten one from the Sham( Levant) you have never eaten one!!!..(that goes for most other fruits and veggies)..but especially apricots and watermelon.. now I think I need to go buy me some amardeen..

  6. Rosa says:

    Oh, that is something I’d love to try!



  7. Kavey says:

    From the end of a recent blog post of mine:

    The Turkish have an idiom “bundan iyisi Şam’da kayısı” the meaning of which is “it doesn’t get any better than this”. The literal translation, “the only thing better than this is an apricot in Damascus” tells you all you need to know – for something that is the very best it can be is a delicious apricot from Damascus!

    Last night I opened a jar of what is the best jam in the world, a Lebanese apricot jam made by Nidal Rayess. I shall be blogging it too as it’s so special.

  8. MyLittleExpatKitchen says:

    Oh, I wish I could find this here in Holland! I love fresh and dried apricots and I’m sure I would love this.

  9. Caffettiera says:

    Apricot is the most elusive fruit. A lot of people think they don’t like it, because they have never tasted it straight from the tree. With that perfume you describe. I’ll look for amardine, I miss good apricots so much.

  10. Nuts about food says:

    I think I would be perfectly content with the first option.

  11. Ivy says:

    I have never heard of this before but it sounds wonderful. We are lucky enough to still buy apricots which have aroma and taste here in Greece and in Cyprus.

  12. Mathai says:

    Hi there Joumana, been a while since I’ve commented here. Amardeen reminds me of the dried mango sheets our grandmothers used to make back home. We would cut it up into strips and suck on it for hours 😀

    ps. Thanks for your Tahina recipes, we bought a big jar recently and have been trying out Hummus, Babaganoush and adding it to other sauces. Next I’m gonna try a tahina flavor shish tawouk 🙂

  13. Priya says:

    Wow apricot paste,never seen this before..

  14. Jumanah says:

    I use to this so much when I was a kid…. definately brings back memories! I havent had it in years though! Need to change that!

  15. Juanita says:

    My goodness…I’ve never seen that before. The texture looks amazing!

  16. Louise says:

    I had no idea that fruit leathers were a traditional food, I thought that they were a product of modern manufacturing by multinationals. Of course this version looks so much more delicious. You can see the apricot flavour in the colour.

  17. Hélène (Cannes) says:

    Je vais voir dès ce soir qui j’en trouve. Tu m’as mise en appétit !

  18. Priya Mahadevan says:

    Oh pLease gimme! LOOKS LUSCIOUS and mouthwatering yum – I LOVE eating apricots, but this is like the mango bites we make in India

  19. Gosia says:

    I love apricots, and amardeen is a great idea to preserve them for longer. This is a pity that it cannot get in Europe

  20. Joanne says:

    That fruit leather definitely sounds like the perfect mid-day pick-me-up!

  21. Anna says:

    Wow – this fruit leather looks great. But I tell you what, the fruit leather we have in the states is disgusting. My mother used to give it to me instead of fruit roll-ups like the other kids were allowed to eat and they tasted less than great. I’d love to try this much more appealing version 😀

  22. Susan says:

    I love having dried apricots on hand for a healthy snack or to pack in the car for long rides so I know I would love Amardeen too. I can only imagine how wonderful a fresh apricot would be tasted in Lebanon.

  23. Viviane @ Taste-Buds says:

    I love Amardeen! I think it is one of the best food inventions ever! It is like a concentrate of apricot flavor with the perfect amount of tanginess to make it awesome! I should get me some!

  24. Heavenly Housewife says:

    What a fascinating product 🙂 its like a middle eastern fruit roll up!
    *kisses* HH

  25. Faith says:

    Definitely one of my favorites…over the weekend I used it to make a layered apricot and rice pudding dessert!

  26. senga50 says:

    Je devrais aimer ce parfum d’abricot et cette douce gelée… Je suis sûre qu’on peut l’associer à un dessert très gourmand… Bien jolis aussi tes petits paquets verts et parfumés… Toute une cuisine que j’aime…

  27. Krista says:

    Oh boy that sounds good!! I grew up in orchard country so YES, I know exactly what you mean by that smell. Fresh apricots warmed by the sun are heavenly!

  28. kankana says:

    I am not sure if it;s the same thing.. but, in India we get something similar and it made with mango. We used to love eating those .. and i think i could find them only in Kolkata .. a state in east india

  29. Mandana says:

    Amardeen is called Lavashak in Iran. We make it with different fresh fruits: plums, apricots, pomegranates, peaches, berries, apples, pears, grapes, etc.

  30. Man (Paris) says:

    Amardeen is called Lavashak in Iran. We make it with different fresh fruits: plums, apricots, pomegranates, peaches, berries, apples, pears, grapes, etc. They are really yummy…By the way, I love your easy & tastey recepies.

  31. Linda Salem says:

    This takes me back to my childhood. My Lebanese grandparents frequently had this in their pantry as I was growing up. Every time I visited I would check the pantry to see if they had any. To me, the only way to eat it was as a snack. My grandfather enjoyed this as much as I. I look for it every time I have been in a Middle Eastern shop or bakery. I have found it a few times, as recently as last week, though the taste is not as I remember.

  32. Monica Simon Farrington says:

    Wow! A word search using “amardeen” on the Ecosia search engine turned up this page. (Google never brought it up in my searches there).
    I am so delighted to have found it. My grandparents came to Vermont in 1898 from Hadeth el Jibbe (spellings vary in English), Lebanon, which was still part of Syria then. I was born in 1941 and grew up living immediately next door from them. I have wonderful memories of their garden and my sitto’s cooking. As Catholics, we could not eat meat on Fridays, so the food served was either m-judra (lentils/rice), ftoyed (spinach triangles), maca-room toom (home made pasta with garlic/lemon sauce), il-oos m-hutroos (pan fried potatoes w/onion/mint), rishta (lentil soup, dumplings), Mar-shoo-shee (shredded cabbage/bulghur/tomato sauce), and grape leaves with meatless bulghur stuffing.

    Obviously, spelling these foods in English turns into phonetically spelled attempts.

    My sittoo, aunts, and mother used to order amardeen along with other Lebanese items from grocery import houses in New York. They’d all chip in and make one big order.

    The boxes would come filled with such goodies as amardeen, halawa, bulghur (it was not as readily available in those days as it is now in Vermont), rose water, dried tiny eggplant (byte-en-jahn ?), hummus, dried chick peas, ha-ree-see (barley?), and more.

    Anyway, there’s a history project currently being done by Historic New England in which I was interviewed for memories of growing up in a now defunct (destroyed by Urban Renewal in the 1960s) Burlington, Vermont neighborhood of Lebanese, Italians, French, and a smattering of Irish, English. In the interview I had talked about amardeen. It is so good to see the packaging and photos of it here. Thank you, Joumana Accad, for this page.

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