Lifestyle

Eid delights, from heritage sweet shops to cafes in Middle East

Eid delights, from heritage sweet shops to cafes in Middle East
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Palestine
Traditional food is an important part of the national heritage, and for Palestinians in the West Bank, it goes well beyond the standard hummus (chickpea paste). The West Bank is particularly famous for its sweets, such as the popular, Kunafa Nablusi, a super sweet semolina and cheese pastry topped with syrup. For more than 70 years, the signature dessert is being made at the famous Aqsa shop nestled inside Nablus';s historic covered market. Image Credit: Social media
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Turkey, Baklava
Although Greeks lay claim to the supreme Baklava, Turkey strongly believes it belongs to them, and the Ottoman empire is largely credited with popularising the dish. The 1864 small and unassuming sweet shop, Hafiz Mustafa is one of the oldest in Turkey and stocks a mind-boggling variety of sweet treats, including many different types of baklava. It is a 148-year old business that has changed hands thrice. It is a single shop with no branches and is located in Sultanhament in Istanbul. Image Credit: Insta/hafizmustafa1864
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Elkady
The Middle Eastern delight, Umm Ali, literally the Mother of Ali, is perhaps one of Egypt’s most-cherished national desserts. It is a household favourite during Ramadan as it’s easy to make and economical. The Umm Ali traces its roots to the Ayyubid dynasty and is made of phyllo pastry, milk, double cream, nuts and is sometimes topped with raisins, powdered sugar and coconut flakes. Many authentic restaurants around Cairo, such as the famous El Kady, serve an authentic Umm Ali. Image Credit: Website/elkady
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The Daoud Brothers’sweet shop in Damascus is famous for the wafer-thin barazek.
Syria, once a sweet spot in the Middle East, suffered a grinding halt of its bakery businesses due to the years of conflict, But now business is finally picking up again. Syria’s Arabic sweets were once a leading export as well as a must-have souvenir for visiting tourists. The Daoud Brothers’sweet shop in Damascus is famous for the wafer-thin barazek, a famed Syrian biscuit dotted with pistachio pieces and coated in sesame seeds. Image Credit: facebook/ Daoud Brothers
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Basbousa
Basbousa is a traditional Arab sweet, made from cooked semolina or farina soaked in simple syrup. Jeddah’s dessert shop, Bsbosati, on Quraish street serves the best basbousa in the country, with a twist. Image Credit: Insta/bsbosati
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Amal Boshali
The bread of the royal palace, Aish El-Saraya is a delectable dessert eaten in special occasions. The origin of this dish is unknown, yet some have attributed this dish to the Lebanese cuisine. Amal Bohsali in Lebanon has served this traditional Lebanese sweets. One of the oldest in Lebanon, it is established in 1878 by the Bohsali family in Beirut. Image Credit: intsa/amal_bohsali
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Al Fanar
Ramadan is the best time have some Luqaimat (meaning "bite-sized" in Arabic), a delicious dumpling made of flour, sugar, starch, saffron, cardamom powder and dry yeast, rolled in date syrup and sprinkled with date molasses and/ or sesame seeds. These fried temptations are part of the traditional Iftar table in the UAE. Al-Fanar is a great place to enjoy an authentic Emirati experience. Image Credit: social media
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Oman
The Sultanate’s legendary hospitality has been symbolised by the sweetness of its national dessert: Omani halwa. Whoever is invited into a house in Oman deserves a bite of this traditional sweet, which is also popular during Eid, Ramadan, graduation, birth and marriage parties. Barka Factory, Founded in 1951 by Abdulrahim Abdulrahman al-Balushi is one of the largest producers of Omani halwa in the Gulf, with daily production oscillating between 240 and 2,000 kilograms, depending on the order booked. Image Credit: social media
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Elba
Elba is a traditional Kuwaiti milk pudding infused with plenty of saffron and cardamom. The Elba is cooling and fresh in taste, one of the most eaten dessert in Kuwait. Kashounat Al-Bait, located at the Jaber Al Ahmed Cultural center in Kuwat serves one of the best traditional Elba in the city. Image Credit: social media
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iraq
Qatayif are delectable pillows of batter, cheese and nuts which date back more than a thousand years to the Abbassid Caliphate, which ruled the Middle East from modern-day Iraq and Iran. It is commonly fried, yet, some cultures bake it. Qatayef are drizzled with honey, sweet sugar syrup or powdered sugar. It blends well with the café culture of Iraq. Image Credit: