The exotic sweets from Algiers
16 October, 2014
Algerian cuisine has being influenced by many cultures. For hundreds of years, Berbers, Arabs, Turks, Romans, French and Spanish have contributed to create an eclectic gastronomy by mixing flavours and scents.
Their exotic sweets surround you with a flavour that takes you to exotic places from One Thousand and One Nights, with a great variety beautifully presented. Vivid colours sweets with precisely detailed ornaments, often made of almonds, pistachios, walnuts and hazelnuts, flavoured with orange blossom water and sweeten with honey or fruit pulp.
Among the most popular cakes, you should try makroud, samsa, hrisa, sfenj or halwa cookies, usually served with a cup of green tea and mint, one of the most consumed beverages in the country.
Algeria is, along with Tunisia, one of the largest producers of dates, specially deglet nour variety, soft, translucent light touch and smooth, like honey flavour that is grown mainly in the provinces of Algeria Biskra, at Tolga and M'Chouneche oasis, served to elaborate different sweets. Between both countries, they produce 90% exports of its kind. Algerians are also the largest consumers of honey in the world, which is not surprising, since almost all their sweets contain this liquid gold.
Qualb bel louz is a speciality from North Algeria and the name means “almond hearth”, highly consumed during Ramadan nights, along with mint tea or coffee. It’s made of semolina, almonds, orange fragrance and bathed in honey syrup.
Makroud is another typical dish from the Algerian gastronomy. This sweet is made also of a semolina base filled with date paste, cut on shaped diamonds or triangles to be fried and bathed in syrup. You'll find it in thousands different colours and varieties.
Among this delicious Eastern food, you should also try Samsa, an old and traditional Algerian sweet made of triangular layers of brick mass filled with almonds and sprinkled with sesame seeds. Or sweeten with ghribia, a round cake prepared with flour, sugar and cinnamon just flavouring or orange peel and lemon.
M'halbi is one of the most habitual desserts. It’s fresh and creamy, with a unique decoration of brown drawings made with cinnamon powder. El zlabia, which most popular version is Boufarik, was made after the carelessness of a bakery apprentice who couldn’t remember well the recipe.
Baklawa, originally from Turkey, is consumed in the Middle East. They are cupcakes made of nut paste and thin pastry, bathed in syrup or honey to finally incorporate any kind of nut. They can be a bit cloying, but certainly with an exotic and delicious flavour.
With all these recipes, we can assure you a sweet flavoured trip with you visit Algeria.
Picture ghribia by Waran18 | picture griouche by Arnaud25 | picture makrout by Latyyy
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16 October, 2014