Posts tagged Holiday
Knafeh (Middle Eastern Sweet Cheese Pie)

My low-key Israeli boyfriend doesn’t usually bubble over with enthusiasm about food. In fact, in comparison to, say, me, he almost never speaks about something he’s eaten with the kind of fervent excitement that peaks my curiosity and makes me want to try it too. Given his usually measured temperament, it is particularly notable that I’ve heard him rhapsodize passionately about only one food: knafeh, a Middle Eastern pastry made with shredded filo pastry, sweet cheese, and sugar syrup. He waxes poetic about knafeh in a way that makes eating it sound like nothing less than a religious experience. 

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Palacsinta (Hungarian Crêpes) with Sweet Cheese and Caramelized Rhubarb

This week’s post is inspired by the Jewish holiday Shavuot, which, this year begins at sundown on Saturday, May 23rd and ends at sundown on Monday, May 25th. For Jews, Shavuot is a spring festival with both historical and agricultural significance. Often remembered as The Festival of The Torah, it celebrates the giving of the Torah (the Jewish Bible) at Mount Sinai. Sometimes referred to as Feast of The First Fruits, Shavuot also celebrates the harvest of the season’s first fruits and grains. To observe Shavuot, Jews are not required to perform any or rituals or attend a particular type of service; only festive meals and celebration are called for.

Some have nicknamed Shavuot “the cheesecake holiday”, because it has become customary for Jews of all kinds to celebrate Shavuot by eating foods featuring dairy. Why dairy?

 

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