Tripoli is bearing the secret of great sweets that everyone still wonders about until today.
Is it the unique freshness of the ingredients?
Or the extraordinary skillfulness of the Chef?
Or the superior quality in every single piece?
Sweets in Tripoli are related to traditions and occasions. And the sweet industry goes back to hundred of year when milkmen from the neighboring mountains sell their milk in Tripoli, and during the month of Ramadan , special sweets and pastries are served to celebrate the holy month.
Sweets and pastries are known collectively in Arabic as helwiyat, and many families in Tripoli are related to the sweet industry like Hallab, Haddad, Sabih, Al Tom…
The sweet industry is still maintaining traditional methods for a traditional taste.
The sweets of Tripoli has this special uniqueness in the quality and an unrivaled name in the world of oriental sweets.
Tripoli and sweet-making. It is a relationship shaped by the location of the city, the origins of which can be traced to 1,400 B.C. and a historical trade route where cultures, ideologies and cooking recipes have met, clashed and amalgamated over centuries.
Different varieties of sweets include:
Qashta halawit-al-jubn – made from a mixture of semolina, cheese, sugar syrup, rose water and qashta;
Mafroukeh, made from semolina, butter ghee, milk and sugar topped with a generous helping of almonds, pine kernels, pistachios and qashta; ]
Ward al-sham (Damascene rose) – a form of mini-qashta sandwich garnished with pistachios, orange blossom and sugar syrup; and the questionably named zind al-sitt (lady’s forearm) – a kind of sweet spring roll lightly fried and filled with qashta that tastes much better than its name would suggest.
Baklawa – made of layers of filo pastry filled with chopped nuts and sweetened with syrup or honey – the modern incarnation of which is said to have been developed in the Topkapi Palace in Ottoman Turkey;
Maamoul, the saccharine oval-shaped cookie made from a mixture of flour, semolina and rosewater filled with walnuts, pistachios or dates.
A visit to Abdul Rahman Hallab confectionery in Tripoli is always a great experience to our culinary sense.