Thursday, October 04, 2007

Happy Ramadan?

I walked into my favorite Halal butcher's and grocery store on Tuesday with a big sweet tooth and found a bonanza of North-African desserts waiting for me, much more than usual. Tuesday, evidently was the start of Ramadan, the season of atonement for Muslims. The practice is to fast during daylight hours, but once the sun goes down you're allowed to replenish yourself and at least some Muslims really do that in a big way. The store was was displaying a wider array of sweets than usual as well as three different types of flatbreads, for soaking up all the homemade cooking.

I snapped up the mille-feuilles (Napoleons) that Moroccans call their own as well as the twisty, deep fried, honey soaked nests you see in the center. They were both excellent and I'm still coming off my sugar-high.

As far as I know, Ramadan is celebrated in vastly different ways depending on country, sect and probably family. Some consider the holiday a very solemn time for which you'd never wish "Happy Ramadan" but others seem to focus on the moments of celebration that evenings and the end of Ramadan, Eid Al Fitr, bring. So to any Muslim readers out there I wish a tentative Happy Ramadan or a solemn Ramadan in the spirit of recognizing this important time for Muslims around the world, especially in my neighborhood. I can't wait to celebrate with you on Eid al Fitr!


Blogger Figs Olives Wine said...

I'm looking forward to Eid too! There's some great stuff that happens out on Atlantic Ave in Brooklyn and Jackson Heights in Queens, and I love the festive feeling. The pastries look heavenly!

8:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Napoleans are not Italian? haha

5:09 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Those look amazing. Wanna share?

7:09 PM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Hi Figs, Jackson Heights is a little like my neighborhood here in Italy. At Eid, it's like a block party out on the street.

Hi Maryann, I think Napoleons are originally French and are called "mille-feuilles" (1,000 sheets) but in Marocco I guess they have taken the dessert as their own.

Hi Christina, Sure! Come on over!

10:26 PM  
Blogger Stelle in Italia said...

those honey soaked nests look really really good. i'm not as big of a fan of napoleons though--did they taste different from other ones you get in Italy? also, what are the diamond-shaped dolci?


8:45 AM  
Blogger hellomelissa said...

i used to work for a bakery and could have all the napoleons i wanted for free. i had to be careful, or would have eaten them all! yum.....

12:50 PM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Hi Jackie, these napoleons have more sugar glaze on top and less cream inside than the ones I've had in Italy. The diamond-shaped desserts are Indian Mysore Pak that I made with cinnamon and ground ginger instead of cardamom.

Hi Melissa, Oh how dangerous! You're so thin, how did you control yourself?!

3:19 PM  
Blogger J at said...

Mmmm. Yummy.

I was talking to a woman last year about Ramadan...she is from Burma, I think, and she said she really misses being home for it. Lots of family, lots of parties, lots of celebrations. Fasting during the day, but such a lovely time each evening. And also the quiet reflection, which she said she really enjoys as well.

8:37 PM  

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