Lebanese candy (Tarbouche)

April 2, 2012  •  Category: ,


This candy which has been around forever in Lebanon is the equivalent of the American twinkie. Very sweet and hugely popular; so much so that entire boxes can be bought for the equivalent of US$4. 

Must be a universal craving, to want something sweet, creamy and fluffy. 

The above candy has been renamed tarbouche, or fez, the  hat worn during the Ottoman period (my grandfather used to wear one). Nobody in Lebanon wears a tarbouche anymore, but I guess the image  elicits nostalgia. 

I bought a box and offered it around, but only the men accepted one while the ladies demurred.



22 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Rosa says:

    We have the same candy here…



  2. Kathy says:

    My grandfather used to wear one, too! I’ve only seen it in pictures. The candy looks yummy!

  3. Caroline says:

    We also have the exact same candy here, it’s called Tête de choco.
    I loved them when I was young. I find them too sweet now.

  4. Tina says:

    oh my …. those are a favorite here too.. Abed came back with 2 boxes packed carefully but some still burst.. Love love love these.. we call them russ le abed.. not sure of spelling ..

  5. Sara says:

    Tarbouche looks delicious!

  6. Christine @ Fresh says:

    These are interesting candies. I used to love sweet candies, now I can only take a bite or two. Still these candies look quite special.

  7. Joanne says:

    There’s no way I could resist one of these…I guess I’m just not that demure or ladylike!

  8. Caffettiera says:

    I’ve personally always hated the fluffy filling, although the Lebanese name is very appealing.

  9. Alaa Kabalan says:

    Tarbouche! I LOVE IT. Everyone I know loves it, men and women. Just a note, in Lebanon, Druze masheyikh still wear a tarbouche :p

    • Joumana says:

      @Alaa: Really? Thanks for letting me know; my family comes from the Chouf, and I will be sure to ask around in the Druze towns~:)

  10. T.W. Barritt says:

    Ha! I had a craving for a Twinkie recently, but it passed. But I’d love to take a bite out of one of those candies!

  11. Asmita says:

    Would love to try this candy out.

  12. Nadji says:

    Je n’aurai pas dit non à ton tarbouche.
    C’est vrai qu’on peut avoir la nostalgie de cette période où les tarbouches garnissaient la tête des hommes plutôt que ces tenues islamiques ou afghanes qui ont pris le dessus
    dans certaines régions.
    A très bientôt

  13. Susan says:

    I think I would rather have this chocolate-coated treat than a Twinkie any day!

  14. Magic of Spice says:

    Something else I have never seen…they look addicting 🙂

  15. Nuts about food says:

    I remember eating something very similar as a child in Austria… globalization…

  16. Anonymous says:

    This is not a Lebanese dessert. It actually originated in Denmark in the late 19th century.

    Furthermore, the Lebanese name “Tarbouche” must have been put in use recently due to the “political correctness” movements. As long as I can remember, the name of the dessert is “Ras el Abid”, which means the “Negro’s Head”. This is not surprising because it is a word-for-word translation for the original Danish name. So, the association with the fez is not historically accurate at all.

    To make them at home, start with a Graham cracker, top it with marshmallow filling, then coat the whole thing with chocolate.


    • Joumana says:

      @Anonymous: I remember the candy when it was called by that name you mention. As for the Denmark origin, why not, I was not aware of it. Many European countries seem to claim it!

  17. Hisham Assaad says:

    Have you tasted it this year?
    It got more expensive and it doesn’t taste as good. The meringue stuffing isn’t tasty anymore.

    • Joumana says:

      @Hisham Assaad: Funny you mention this, someone was telling me this exact same thing last week! Need to contact Ghandour and ask them what’s up!

  18. Paulette says:

    Why I cannot get the recipe for Tarbouche???????

  19. Sam Gh. says:

    If people only knew its racist history!

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