Tunisian Cuisine: an Overview
Tunisia possesses one of the most diverse cultures in the world. Its location along the Mediterranean means that for centuries it has been influenced and impacted by a number of cultures and civilizations, from the ancient civilizations of Rome and Carthage to those of France, Turkey, and more.
This diversity in culture extends to Tunisia’s cuisine, which has been influenced by its many neighbors. In Tunisia’s pastries and sweets, one can find hints of African cuisine and Eurasian, along with an essence that is distinctly Tunisian. This combination of flavors creates a decadent, luxurious mix that makes Tunisian delicacies some of the best you’ll ever taste.
Phoenician Artisan specializes in several types of Tunisian delicacies, and we are proud to say that our pastries will always impress. Below, we’ll discuss a few of our fan favorites.
The origin of baklawa is uncertain; the earliest versions may have been created by the Assyrian Empire nearly three millennia ago, but many cultures and countries claim to have been the first to perfect it. Whatever the true origin of baklawa, its modern version uses thin sheets of pastry dough (typically phyllo), nuts (such as almonds or hazelnuts), syrup, and butter to create a delicate, airy layered pastry.
Phoenician Artisan offers several different baklawa delicacies, including Baklawa Noix and Baklawa El Bey.
Makrouth is a type of pastry that is typically made with a combination of flour and semolina. The pastry is molded into a diamond shape, and can then be either baked or fried. Makrouth cookies contain a rich, sweet filling, which is often made of date jam, honey, and a nut paste (such as almond paste).
At Phoenician Artisan, we use orange peel, geranium water, syrup, and sesame seeds to give our Makrouth a distinct, sweet taste that sets it apart from any other you will ever try.
Mlabes are a type of delicacy found primarily in North Africa. Mlabes are a sweet dessert that somewhat resemble Japanese mochi in appearance. However, while mochi are made with glutinous rice flour, Mlabes are instead made of a thin layer of meringue wrapped around a nut paste filling. Mlabes can then be flavored with ingredients like rose water, orange peel. When finished, they will resemble a delicate, round pastry.
We offer a variety of fillings for our Mlabes, including almond, hazelnut, and mocha. We encourage all of our visitors and customers to try some!
Kaak are sweet pastries formed into ring-shapes, much like donuts. However, Kaak typically contains a nut-based filling, such as marzipan, hazelnut, or pistachio. They can be flavored and perfumed with a variety of extracts and ingredients, such as amber or geranium water, and then decorated to fit the occasion.
Our Kaak Warka is especially recommended, both as an individual dish and among our gift sets.
Whether you’re craving something sweet and decadent or something light and airy, Phoenician Artisan will definitely have a delicacy available to suit you. Give us a try!