Egyptian Desserts

While we were in Egypt last month, we particularly enjoyed the desserts.  One memorable meal was at the Naguib Mahfouz Restaurant in the Cairo souk (5 al-Badestan Lane, Khan al-Khalili, 1, Cairo, Egypt). Named in honor of the only Arabic-language writer to have won the Nobel Prize for Literature, the restaurant features brass tabletops, an impressive molded ceiling, and good food. Dessert was custard with raisins, nuts, and coconut on top, served with mint tea.

The signature Cairo dessert is called Um Ali or Om Ali (“Mother of Ali”), a kind of bread pudding. Two other excellent local treats are Golash (like Baklava) and Konafa (like a firm custard with filo on the bottom and shaved onto the top). We brought home some boxes of pastries as presents after being recommended to El Abd, a downtown Cairo patisserie with an impressive selection. Despite the tempting selection of pastries, one of my favorite sweets in Egypt remains fresh dates.

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Images Copyright 2010 Katy Dickinson

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