Knafeh ~~ December 20, 2017

Another day of over-eating. It was also a day in Old Jerusalem, and I’ll have more to say about that later as it sinks in.

But right now my mind is focused on something blessedly more simple: knafeh.

Knafeh (there are probably a dozen ways to spell it and almost as many to make it) is a sweet Palestinian dessert found all over the MidEast made of fresh cheese layers with semolina or shredded phyllo dough, cooked until some magic happens, brushed extravagantly with sugar syrup, sprinkled with crush pistachios. and eaten warm.

I can’t tell you how fabulous it is. Sweet, to be sure. Sticky sweet. But the chewy cheese is a nice counterpoint, the nuts add more texture and every mouthful is dreamy and comforting and addictive.

I’ve had different versions in different places, but the bakery Amir takes us to in Jerusalem is better by a mile. Today we got extra lucky — a brand new pan was coming out of the oven as we were arriving. We watched them ladle on the syrup, sprinkle the nuts, and carve out a piece for us, a small square that seemed tiny til it hit the plate.

Only two of us were going to eat it, but they gave us five forks. All were put to use. Damn it.

Pretty fabulous.

I’ve found several recipes. I’ll try them out when I get home and let you know if I have any magic in me.

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