10 Middle Eastern Desserts to Savor After Supper

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Zabadee el Mishmish

What is it? An apricot pudding indigenous to Egypt.

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How does it taste? Served cool in a glass, this dessert has a milky taste bolstered by the addition of honey, apricots, pistachios and almonds.

Kanafeh

What is it? An orange cake with either noodles or kataifi, sometimes enhanced with semolina or syrup. Depending on the region, the name either describes the noodles or the whole dish.

How does it taste? It is very sweet, thanks to the syrup, rose water and actual sugar.

Basbousa/Shamali/Ravani

What is it? An orange-to-golden-brown colored cake that often comes up during religious festivals like Ramadan or Lent.

How does it taste? Whether made of semolina or farina, you get a taste of rose or orange-flower water, yogurt and syrup. Its usually topped with almonds so you always get the nuttiness first.

Ush-el-bul-bul

What is it? The dish’s name alludes to a bird’s nest and it is made of knafeh dough and sweetener. “Burma” is a similar dish but the distinction comes down to ingredients.

How does it taste? This a baked dish, rich in corn starch or wheat flour and filled with nuts like cashews.

Baklava

What is it? A Fillo pastry packed with nuts and sweets. While Turkish in origin, other regions prefer dried varieties.

How does it taste? Crunchy from the nuts and sweet from the presence of honey.

Honey Cinnamon Apple Cake

What is it? What it says on the tin, usually with flour, baking powder, baking soda and buttermilk to help form the cake.

How does it taste? This dish tastes like a sweet and sticky mass of deliciousness.

Awamat

What is it? A fried ball of sweetness otherwise known as Lebanese crisp doughnut balls.

How does it taste? This dish offers fried, syrupy, soft and oily flavors. Make sure to have some napkins.

Fig and Honey Tarts

What is it? This is a seasonal dish, based entirely around when figs are in season. Figs are used as the garnish and it is always served cool.

How does it taste? Honey, cheese and lemon juice do wonders to bolster the flavor that already received a boon from the addition of figs.

Halva/Halwa

What is it? A chunky little dessert that is traditionally made of sesame paste but can be made with flour if you lack access to the paste.

How does it taste? This dish obviously features sesame and sugar as its key flavor profiles. Give the dining experience a bit more of a full body by pairing your halva with some tea or coffee, as is tradition.

Kabak Tatlisi

What is it? Cooked pumpkin with toppings, commonly had in Turkey during the winter.

How does it taste? This dish is definitely sweet, sprinkled with sugar, walnuts, and kaymak. Kaymak is a dairy product, similar to clotted cream, that comes from the milk of livestock like goats and sheep. This dish is enjoyed by itself.