0

Comments

Facebook

Twitter

Google

send


August 14, 2013

Karim Sakr

Sidon's sweet makers Lebanon's famous Arabic sweets are made throughout the country. Sidon, an old city renowned for its ancient soap making industry, hammams, souks, and cafes, is home to some of the best sweet makers in the land.

They specialize in sanioura (crumbly butter cookie), jazariyyeh (which are made of pumpkin), al essha (black seed cake), and sweets using orange-blossom water, rose-water, and rose loukoums.

Traditional sweet shops can be found scattered in the small alleyways of the old medina. If you're struggling to find them, just follow your nose: orange-blossom water, rose-water, and sugar syrup smells will lead you there. These small shops are run by the owners themselves and have been done for generations, sometimes assisted by family members. Many of these shops date back to the beginning of the nineteenth century,
and you will often find old black and white photos of ancestors hanging on the walls. The owners, often charismatic and friendly, represent Sidon's special spirit.

For these traditional shops, activity tends to be seasonal, affected by the seasonality of their raw materials, and the Islamic festivities, such as Eid al Kabir and Al Adha, that they cater for. During pistachio season, for example, these sweet shops are filled with various green pistachio-based pastries.

Outside the old city there are bigger sweet shops, such as the famous "Al Samra" and "Al Gondoline." Then there are the branded shops, such as the very well-known "Al Baba."

As we all know, quality depends on quantity. That's why the sweets you taste once a year at the little shops in the souks are far tastier than those you can buy all year round in the big, industrialized cities.
“New Prince Sweets”
“New Prince Sweets”
Inside-out
Inside-out On a sleepy Ramadan morning
On a sleepy Ramadan morning
A ‘maamoul’ tray Round trays waiting for you
Round trays waiting for you
Trays filled with sweets everywhere. Rose water is a Sidon specialty
Trays filled with sweets everywhere. Rose water is a Sidon specialty
Mchakkal please!
‘Mchakkal’ please! In memory of the founder A 20-year old photograph… father and son A traditional cotton candy cart
A traditional cotton candy cart
Eid’s special prices
Eid’s special prices
A refreshing post-iftar Arabic ice cream Layers of sweets
After a long and fruitful Eid
After a long and fruitful Eid
A ‘maamoul’ tray
Layers of sweets
A 20-year old photograph… father and son
In memory of the founder