Kanafeh, knafeh or knefeh… Most of Lebanese people would give all they have for another soft piece of this heaven. It is probably one of the most traditional and famous desserts in Lebanon! They prefer it for breakfasts or at nights after long “tiring” parties! Don’t get surprised to see a line of young Lebanese in a bakery store at 3-4 am; they all would be waiting for Knefeh, as around this time the bakers start preparing it!
Knefeh is a sort of Lebanse pastry fried in unsalted butter, oil and margarine, layered with soft cheese made of sheep’s milk, and sprinkled with the sweetest syrup, which consists of sugar, rose water and orange blossom water. It has its roots from the Palestinian city called Nablus and has been known since 10 century. There are several types of Knefeh prepared of noodle threads (Khishnah) or of semolina (Naama); sometimes these two types can be mixed into one dessert (Mhayara). Usually Knefeh is considered as a full value Lebanese dessert, sold from a large pan. But I prefer Knefeh inside a hot bun with sesame seeds!
When me and my man just got that love twinkle, everything he used to do for me seemed so romantic and touchy! I clearly remember our first breakfast together and it was a big Knefeh in a bun. It was early in the morning, while we were heading towards new discoveries of Lebanon. I sat in his car, and he gave me something warm and sweet. I opened the pack and recognized a syrupy piece, which I used to see in Syria long time ago. Hello, Knefeh! My favorite part of it was the extremely cheesy texture which was so appetizing to bite! It seemed like the best breakfast ever in my life!
Knefeh by itself is a little too sweet in my opinion; therefore I prefer it in a bun. Also I am totally obsessed with sesame seeds, so every product that includes those is always the choice for me. A standard Knefeh cut is around 500 calories, which is…well a lot! I usually prefer to share my bun with somebody, as I can barely finish the whole portion.
If you are in Lebanon, I can suggest you a couple of bakeries where we buy Knefeh: Sea Sweet, Amal Bohsali and our favorite Labeil Dor.
Close your eyes, take a viscous bite and enjooooy!