If there’s one thing I love about living in a big city, it’s the diversity of food that we get to taste and culture we get to experience. Recently, I ventured into a Middle Eastern grocery store to do some exploring. You know how they always have those beautiful displays of cookies, sweets and pastries? My curiosity got the best of me and I wandered over to pick one.
Since I’m an adventurous foodie, I never really know what I’m getting myself into. However, the cheerful lady behind the counter told me that the treat I was looking at is called maamoul. She said it is a pastry/cookie that is made of semolina flour and can be filled with pistachios, walnuts or dates. It’s a Middle Eastern treat that can be found in places like Syria, Lebanon, etc.
I asked her to pick one type for me (though rest assured, she said they’re all good) and she gave me the walnut-filled maamoul. Before I took a bite I thought it was going to be super sweet, but thankfully it was only mildly sweet. The outer texture was a bit hard like a cookie, but it was also crumbly and powdery once you bit into it. The walnut mixture inside tasted a bit aromatic (doing a little online researching reveals that this is because it is common to mix the filling with orange blossom water and rosewater) and you can definitely taste the powdered sugar that is sprinkled on top.
Apparently, maamouls come in all different shapes and sizes. There are many beautiful patterns and all sorts of molds made specifically for these treats. Even the store had a few types to differentiate the fillings.
I enjoyed the treat. I’d definitely go back for more and I highly recommend it to those nut lovers out there.