Lately my news feed has been flooded with cheese boards and antipasto platters! There seems to be a memo that I had somehow missed saying that Sept was the month for cheese boards!

Now don’t get me wrong, I love cheese boards and antipasto platters, there is so much room for creativity in terms of color combinations, flavors, and presentation and I am all for anything that allows creativity to run wild. Added to that, cheese platters and antipasto platters allow you to enjoy a little bit of everything without going overboard! A win win situation in my book.

So in the spirit of joining the fun, I thought it would be a good idea to share my tips and ideas on how to prepare the perfect Middle Eastern antipasto platter but before I do, I think I need to explain the last word in my post’s title: “Mezze”

In the middle east, breakfast and dinner (remember,Lunch is the main meal here) are usually served in a style called mezze which means a selection of small dishes that are meant for sharing.The word  mezze actually comes from the Turkish meze “taste, flavour, snack, relish”, borrowed from Persian مزه (mazze “taste, snack” < mazīdan “to taste”)

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Isn’t it funny how a certain smell, flavor or image can conjure up a world of memories?

Somehow it is never the elaborate recipes or the fancy meals, it is a bowl of soup in your mum’s kitchen on a cold day, a cup of peach icetea across the table from a dear friend, a fresh loaf of bread from your grandmother’s oven, the cookies you made for your kids’ class and stayed up till 2 in the morning decorating and packing them, the salad you made for your best friend and forgot the parsley.
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Knafeh has got to be the recipe I get the most questions about and requests for! and that’s no wonder because  it is one of the most addictive Arabic and middle eastern desserts.

What I try to explain to most people when they ask me is that knafeh is not a single dessert. It is actually a broad category of desserts. There is knafeh naameh (which means smooth knafeh and that refers to the texture of the dough used to make the crust), knafeh khisneh (rough knafeh)-both the naameh and khisneh are filled with cheese-, knafeh othmanieh (Ottomali Knafeh) which is filled with ashta or cream, knafeh asabe3: rough knafeh dough  formed into mini logs filled with cheese or cream ,and last but not least,today’s recipe: Arabic knafeh or Gazan knafeh which is filled with walnuts and spices.

Knafeh ghazawieh (Arabic knafeh)

Our Arabic flavor recipe for the Month of April  took us to Nablus! Rania Al Wazani invited us to make Tamriyeh, the popular Nabulsi dessert from scratch.

Last year, in my Romanieh recipe post I took you on a little trip to the old markets of Nablus.
Nablus (sometimes called Nābulus) is a Palestinian city in the northern West-Bank, approximately 63 kilometers (39 mi) north of Jerusalem. Located between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim

When it comes to food, Nablus is a gastronomic heaven,famous for its signiture cheese “the Nabulsi cheese” and its wide array of sweets, ranging from kunafeh, a stringy, cheesy, crispy, sweet, gooey, delicious dessert which defies definition.