Jordan’s Sweet Treat – Knafeh

Jordan knafeh

When I visited Jordan, it didn’t take me long to realize that the culinary aspect of the experience was going to be very important. Some countries don’t have many unique dishes, others have en embarrassment of food riches. Jordan definitely falls into the later category.

I was in Amman and had just finished a delicious meal with a lot of Jordanian staples. Hummus, ful, falafel and several kilos of bread made for the perfect afternoon repast. I really wasn’t hungry for dessert, but my hosts said they had something special for me. Curious, I tagged along as my guide wove his way through the alleyways to reach Habibah‘s, purveyors of knafeh.

Jordan knafeh
Like so many other foods, knafeh is pan-Arab, it can be found throughout the region. Knafeh is made using very fine vermicelli-like pastry, which is heated with butter then a soft, white cheese is spread over it, more pastry added, and so on. The dessert is then topped with a sticky syrup and some crushed pistachios.

At first I wasn’t sure, I haven’t had great experiences with global desserts, but I decided to be polite. I watched the cooks make the sticky concoction and gave my best fake smile when they handed me a plate. We went off to the side and sat on a half- wall as I closed my eyes and took a bite.

Jordan knafeh

Perhaps predictably, I loved it. It was a cool day, and the steaming hot knafeh was the perfect remedy. Sure it was sticky, but the pasta and cheese combined to make a delicious snack. I gobbled it up and looked around, expecting stares but instead found myself accompanied by scores of others enjoying the dessert as much as I did.

Moral of the story, always try new things and if you ever have the opportunity to try knafeh, go for it. Also, please send me some.

By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer.

1 thought on “Jordan’s Sweet Treat – Knafeh”

  1. What sweet memories this brought back! I also went to Habibah and had the chance to eat this wonderful dessert. Lucky you–and me! Did you eat za’atar, by the way? I also love that. Just dip your pita in olive oil and then in the za’atar. Wow!

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