Beirut is a city that is fast becoming unrecognizable to those of us who grew up here; Ottoman-style homes with inner courtyards, street cart vendors and baskets lowered from balconies are nearly all gone; this is why when I went searching for this candy called na3oomeh I came home empty-handed. One man I asked told me I needed to go to Sidon and look for it in the old souks. Luckily, Asma, my trusted friend, chef, and go-to person for all things traditional and culinary, knew exactly where to find some and promptly got me a bag.
This candy will be remembered by some as the one that cart vendors would hawk yelling in the streets “na3oomeh, na3oomeh”. My friend Hoda tells me she never tasted it because her mother forbade her from touching anything that was sold in the streets. The cart vendor would quickly wrap it in a paper cone and hand it out to kids after school.
It is simply roasted chickpeas and sugar. As fine as flour. Delicious.
It could be made at home with a good coffee grinder. These colored candied chickpeas are still sold nowadays and I found them at the Dallas Middle-Eastern grocery store. I would try to grind them as fine as possible; however, I bet it would not come out as fine as this one which is made in a commercial flour mill.
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