Hello Jordan or How we discovered Kunafa

Istanbul & Amman 2013-10-032

Our first day in Jordan: We arrived just after midnight and the taxi from the airport dropped us at the cheapest hotel we could find in downtown Amman. After our comfortable accommodations in Turkey the very basic outfit of our hotel room was quite sobering but we were too tired to care. The hotel manager woke us up at 10 AM with a plate of omelette, pita bread and humus and 2 cups of sweet tea for breakfast.

 

We walked around downtown to get a first sense of the city when we discovered a crowd of people in a small side street pushing each other in front of a small store. Some had successfully managed to get in and appeared back out with some kind of delicious looking pastry on a plastic plate. We decide we wanted what they had and I got in line. When I got closer to the the cashier in a small both in front of the entrance I realized that all signs where in Arabic and I had no idea what the name of the pastry was and how I could express what and how much of it I wanted. I got a push from the back and landed in front of the small window. The cashier looked up, saw me, smiled and asked in English “small or big?”.

This way we discovered Kunafa, a delicious Middle Eastern dessert consisting of a layer of crisp pastry, shaped like thin crunchy tendrils that resemble vermicelli, sitting atop a layer of soft white cheese which are baked lightly in an oven, then covered with sugar syrup.

 

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