This article attempts to provide a description of the many types and varieties of Arabic sweets encountered today.
A differentiation is made between the different types of Arabic sweets, namely Baklava, Mamoul, and cream based sweets, then a description of the varieties of each type is provided.
Arabic sweets, which are also knows as Middle Eastern sweets, can be divided into three major categories: Baklava, Mamoul, and cream based sweets.
The first category, Baklava, comprises of a large variety of sweets, all made from nuts filled dough.
While the traditional baklava, in its original form, consisting of roasted pistachios, pine nuts, cashews, or walnuts, sandwiched between thin layers of phyllo dough is the most popular in the western world, the word “baklava” in the eastern world refers to an assortment of sweets, all made from nuts filled dough.
Assorted baklava comprises Borma, Basma, Ballorieh, Asabi, Bokaj, Basima, Kol Weshkor, Iswara, and Ish El Bolbol. These pastries are usually filled with either pistachios or pine nuts and cashews.
The second category, Mamoul, comprises a number of nuts filled cookies. Mamoul is a semolina cookie filled with either pistachios, walnuts, or dates.
The third category includes cream or cheese filled sweets, namely Knafeh, Halawet El Jeben, Bohsalino, Loulwa, Mafroukeh, Katayef, Shaaybiyat, Ismaliyeh, Ward El Sham, and Znoud El Sit. The most popular in this category is the Knafeh, a traditional Lebanese breakfast. It is made of a mixture of cheeses covered on top with a crispy flour and semolina dough.