The Full Wiki

More info on Mahlab

Mahlab: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Prunus mahleb - St Lucie Cherry
Prunus mahleb blooms

Mahlab, Mahleb, or Mahlepi, is an aromatic spice made from the seeds of the St Lucie Cherry (Prunus mahaleb). The cherry stones are cracked to extract the seed kernel, which is about 5 mm diameter, soft and chewy on extraction, but ground to a powder before use. Its strong aroma means that it only need be used in very small quantities, the flavour being similar to a combination of bitter almond and cherry (Christian 1982).

It has been used for centuries in the Middle East and the surrounding areas (especially in Turkey, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, the Palestinian territories, Iraq, Kuwait, Armenia, Iran, Libya and Greece) as a sweet/sour, nutty addition to breads, cheese, cookies and biscuits. In the United States it has long been a staple in Greek-American holiday cake and pastry recipes. Thanks to renewed interest in Mediterranean cooking it has been recently mentioned in several cookbooks.

Mahleb is used in Greece, where it is known as μαχλέπι (mahlepi) for holiday cakes such as tsoureki and similar egg-rich yeast cakes and cookies. In Cyprus, it is called μέχλεπι (mehlepi) and is used in a special Easter cheese pie or cheese cake on Cyprus called flaounes (φλαούνες). In Turkey it is used for "Poğaca". In the Middle East and Anatolia it is also associated with Ramadan sweets, including "Çörek", "Kandil simidi", "Ka'kat" and "Ma'amoul". In Egypt the powdered Mahlab is made into a jam like paste with honey, sesame and nuts, eaten as a dessert or a snack with bread. It is also used to flavour the traditional Armenian holiday cake, "Choereg". There are many alternative spellings of this spice: محلب, مَحْلَب, mahlab, mahalab, mahleb, מהלב, mahaleb, mahlep, mahalep, μαχλέπι, μέχλεπι, mahlepi, machlepi or makhlepi.



Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address