We've all heard of the famous ‘New York Cheesecake’ but have you heard about the traditional cheese-filled dessert all the way from the middle east? Let us introduce you to a ‘not so well-known’ but mouth-watering sweet delicacy known as Kunafeh.
Kunafeh, also known as Kunafa, is a sugar-soaked pastry that is commonly found in Arabic countries and territories. The dish is mostly made during the holy month of Ramadan and is a Middle Eastern classic. The delicacy is known to have originated somewhere between the 10th and the 15th century, and the name is derived from the Circassian word ‘chnafah’, which means ‘bulbul color’. The bulbul songbird is commonly found throughout the Middle East and Turkey. The dough used in kunafeh is often given a reddish or orange color using food dyes to imitate the colour of the bird’s vent.
The exact preparation and the name itself of the dish vary by region, most Kunafa is layered or filled with either cheese or cream. The cheese used can be anything from goat cheese to any other regional cheese. The cheese-filled layer is then soaked in a sugar syrup that is flavored. Normally the flavours used are rose water or orange blossom water, and then the dish is topped with ground nuts like pistachios to garnish. Kunafeh is normally made using long, thin strands of shredded phyllo dough which is known as katafi. The word ‘kunafa’ in fact, is used interchangeably to describe both the dessert as well as the dough. The dough is fried or baked with butter or oil until it is crispy. The dessert is made with some variations as we move across different regions, but is enjoyed the same all across!
With the increase in popularity of Middle Eastern food, this traditional dessert has also started to make its way into the must-try lists of many food enthusiasts, and we encourage you to add it to yours too! We would be delighted to be the ones to serve you. Place your order now!