"I bought baklava and ka'k for Eid," said Ahmad. (IOL photo)
Syrian Pastries "Sweeten" Sudan `Eid
By Ismail Kamal Kushkush
KHARTOUM As sweet and cookies top the menu during `Eid Al-Fitr,
Syrian pastries are becoming the most favorite in Sudan during the
"I like Syrian pastries; they are very good," Ghada Faysa, a 38-year-
old housewife, told IslamOnline.net<http://islamonline.net/
Friday, October 3.
Like many across the region, Sudanese families serve pastries, sweet
and cookies to guests during `Eid Al-Fitr, which marks the end of the
fasting month of Ramadan.
While many families home-bake their pastries, others buy ready-made
items from stores, with Syrian pastries coming atop the list.
The most favorite Syrian pastries for Sudanese in `Eid include ka'k
(cookies), kunafa and baklava, which Sudanese call basta.
Sudan celebrated the first day of `Eid on Tuesday, September 29.
`Eid Al-Fitr is one of the two most important Islamic celebrations,
together with `Eid Al-Adha.
After special prayers to mark the day, festivities and merriment
start with visits to the homes of friends and relatives.
Traditionally, everyone wears new clothes for `Eid, and the children
look forward to gifts.
"We make our pastries sweeter than traditional Syrian ones, but
maintain Syrian quality," said Munjid. (IOL photo)
One of the most famous stores selling Syrian pastries in the capital
Khartoum is the "Syrian House".
"The Syrian House is one of the best places to buy pastries in
Khartoum," said civil servant `Alam al-Din Ahmad, 34.
"I bought baklava and ka'k for Eid."
The House was opened in 1991.
"The store has developed to be one of the most famous pastry shops in
Khartoum," said executive manager Dr. Ahmad Munjid.
"It's a family business," added Munjid, who teaches bio-medical
laboratory sciences at the University of Khartoum.
"Taste is important. We use quality ingredients like pure ghee,
Sudanese sugar, German glucose and desiccated Sri Lankan coconuts. My
father directly supervises production."
The Syrian House is having a major challenge of meeting local
"Sudanese have a sweet-tooth," Munjid said with a smile.
"So we make our pastries sweeter than traditional Syrian ones, but
maintain Syrian quality."
Local ingredients are also used as substitutes for commonly used
"We fill our baklava with crushed peanuts instead of pistachio nuts,"
"That way we keep Syrian traditions and meet Sudanese tastes."
* Isma'il Kamal Kushkush is a Sudanese-American freelance writer
currently based in Khartoum, Sudan.
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