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Taj al malek

Taj al malek, meaning king’s crowns because of its shape,  are a kind of baklave and little sweets from Aleppo,  made with shredded phyllo dough, sugar syrup, and roasted pistachios. Kataifi dough is first shaped into little nests, dried, brushed with clarified butter, then baked until golden brown.

Each pastry is then topped with pistachios and drenched in a sugar syrup flavored with lemon juice, rose water, and orange blossom water. The syrup must be thick enough to hold the nuts together, but not too thick, because it must remain chewy once cooled.

Pistachios can be replaced with other nuts such as almonds, cashews, and even peanuts - regardless of the filling, taj al malek are sugary treats worthy of kings.

Grape molasses

Dibs el 'inab, or Grape molasses is a thick syrup and an ancient food in the Mediterranean region, known before honey or refined sugar.  It is a natural sweetener with no additives or colorants, usually derived from white grapes. Grape molasses is a common food in the Syrian mountains and is stocked in winter, known as mouneh.

Grape molasses is a viscous product made by boiling grapes, removing their skins, squeezing them through a sieve to extract the juice. This process is repeated several times, and each time a different type of molasses is produced.

You can use any type of grape (red or white). Sometimes molasses of red grapes is preferred when making desserts like cookies because it gives a darker, more appetizing color.

There are a few different kinds of molasses: dark brown and almost black. What differentiates them is the way of boiling. Light molasses is extracted from the first batch of boiled the grape, while blackstrap has been boiled down several times until it becomes a thick syrup.

MOUNEH (Syrian pickles)

No holiday is ever complete here without a bowl of Mukhalal "pickles" and olives.  While you can certainly buy these pickles at the store, there’s something truly special about opening a jar of your own homemade pickles. These pickles are eaten on their own, or stuffed into shawarma or falafel wraps, or as part of a mezze table. Pickling this is very easy as well and takes about a week to be ready to eat. 

Mukhalal can be prepared with a variety of veggies of one's choice like beetroot, cauliflower, cabbage, olives and radish. Tangy and sweet with the crunchy veggies, this pickle is loved by many across the globe.

Pickles was the best way to preserve food for a long period of time, and served as the perfect complement to mezze dishes as falafel, roast chicken or kebab

Homemade Fig Jam

Fig jam is a popular sweet in Syria; this is made with simple ingredients-fresh figs, sesame seeds, walnuts, anise seeds, sugar, and lemon juice. The end result is an utterly delicious jam.

The jam needs to be cooked for a long time on low heat. It may take between 30-60 minutes, depending on the heat and the amount of liquid that needs to be ready.

You can keep the Fig jam for 2 or even 3 months in the jars. Unlike other jams such as strawberry or raspberry, fig jam has a unique taste that goes perfect with either sweet or savory dishes like scones, muffins, breads, or cheeses.

Figs are a wonderful source of fiber and vitamins, as well as minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium1

Sfouf (Turmeric Cake)

Sfouf is a Syrian semolina turmeric cake, made with simple ingredients, no eggs and no butter. It's vegan and a perfect light dessert or snack to go with your cup of coffee. The semolina in the cake gives a nutty texture that is just so hard to resist!

Sfouf is an Arabic word that means lines and it’s used here to describe the way this cake is cut into lines. The cake itself is a semolina-turmeric oil-based yellow cake. It’s a simple plain cake with mild flavors and not at all sweet. The flavor is incredible, the texture is crumbly but soft as well,  It is perfect to enjoy during the month of Ramadan.

Turmeric gives the cake the most delicious flavor and color, turmeric is considered a superfood, as it is loaded with antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory effects along with so many other wonderful health benefits. It has been used in cooking as a spice and as a medicinal herb in Asia, especially India, for thousands of years.