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KENAFA WARS!

November 2, 2015

If this whole planet were to implode tomorrow and I had the time to eat my favorite food before that happens, I would find or make kanafeh and wolf the whole platter down. Or,  if you asked me what  you should include in your bucket list of 10 things to try before you die I would also say you must try kanafeh. Kanafeh is not just a dessert, it’s a climactic synergy of tastes and textures so harmonious that you literally want to cry after your last bite. All at once sweet, a little salty, creamy, chewy, and buttery… kanafeh is the ultimate dessert of the Middle East. There are varying ways to spell it, and many theories as to where this dessert originated. Kanafeh is a Levantine dessert, meaning it is shared equally in the traditions of the Lebanese, Palestinians, Jordanians, Syrians, and Egyptians. Basically it is a layered dessert of sweet melted cheese, sandwiched with buttery filo dough, and smothered with a sugar syrup, dusted with a little pistachios and sometimes rose flower water. The dough is usually dyed orange, using a special spice that doesn’t really impart any flavor, only color. If you ever attend a Middle Eastern Food Festival with this dessert on the menu, please try it, and give me your impressions. While at the Lebanese Festival in Redwood City, I had more than my share of kenafeh, and somehow I had to fight for the last bite with my brother, who loves it just as much. As a matter of fact the fights my brother and I have had over this sweet is legendary, involving multiple sprints around the house and even down the block while carrying the last piece in hand. One of those moments was captured right here on video. Stay tuned because this week I will have a mini-doc of the Lebanese Festival, to give you a flavor of what it’s all about 🙂

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