Dessert is a showstopper on all fronts, from a visible and taste attitude, frequently clouding up the dinner or espresso table nicely after a meal, at some stage in family gatherings, celebrating both casual get-togethers and memorable occasions alike. But to those people in the know, the star of some of these desserts is knafeh.
Knafeh (stated Kuh-a-feh) is a dessert of shredded phyllo dough for its pinnacle and bottom layers, and what lies in its middle relies upon at the location which it’s prepared. Egypt, as an example, will fill it with an array of chopped nuts, raisins, and choice spices like cinnamon for delivered crunch and kick. To the ire of my fellow Egyptians, however, the superior and maximum famous iteration of knafeh originates from Nablus inside the West Bank of Palestine. Knafeh Nablusiyeh is made with Nabulsi cheese—a semi-tough sheep and goat milk cheese with a mozzarella-like consistency way to a special brining approach. Its phyllo dough contains orange meals coloring, giving it the authentic sheen and brightness a purple-carpet dessert merits as soon as the simple syrup is delivered.

If you hail from the Midwest like me, finding knafeh is a piece of conflict. Only a couple of places in the Twin Cities deliver from-scratch knafeh. One is Wally’s Falafel and Hummus, positioned at the East Bank campus within the heart of Dinkytown, and whilst it’s far first rate, coping with the demanding adventure of parking on campus to get there’s… much less so. Filfillah, off forty-third and Central Avenue inside the Columbia Heights, also includes knafeh. Theirs is made inside the Turkish style, so the cheese is the product of raw cow’s milk. Gilfillan’s knafeh can also fluctuate a touch in flavor, however, it offers the identical scrumptious outcomes. Holy Land also makes knafeh, but simplest sells it on their catering menu as a two- or 5-pound tray.
The worst manner of having ahold of knafeh is to depend on someone. Realize—that one character you realize who hails from the Middle East? The man or woman who brought in knafeh for the paintings potluck, and also you tousled on the enunciation of knafeh and their first call, after repeatedly asking badgering and disrespectful questions on their culture?

So except you’re taking a journey to SWANA-heavy meccas together with Chicago, Anaheim, Dearborn, New York, or New Jersey, you’ve got your paintings cut out for you.
Enter: the new frozen knafeh Trader Joe’s has rolled out throughout its stores this summer season. Sold for round $3.Ninety-nine, Trader Joe’s Kunefe (using the Turkish spelling and enunciation prominently at the box) comes as a personal pan-pizza-sized version, made with shredded phyllo, and having a middle made with Mozzarella (GASP!) and Mizithra cheese. Trader Joe’s Kunefe also has you blanketed with the important toppings, which includes simple syrup to coat the completed product, and a small bag of chopped pistachios to sprinkle over the pinnacle.
But is it good?
If you’re looking for a short restoration of this staple dessert, Trader Joe’s Kunefe does the activity correctly. The grocer’s knafeh had shimmering golden brown edges following its 22-minute cooking time, with a few kinds of cheese oozing out. But until you cast off it from the oven and flip it over, whether it is baked all of the manners thru remains in the query. Ultimately the dish’s backside cooks evenly, and when served warm, it is a first-rate enough at-domestic version of what you may get at an eating place or bakery that makes knafeh from scratch.
Now for the burning question: Is it precisely like domestic?
Absolutely not. Trader Joe’s Kunefe is no substitute for the actual aspect. However, in case you want your knafeh to be like domestic, you can add some slight splashes of orange blossom water, or rose water, after applying the easy syrup packet for that brought boost of flavor like mom/aunt/grandma used to make. While the chopped pistachios are a pleasant touch, you could constantly add extra, or you may unload it out totally when you have a nut allergic reaction.
Trader Joe’s Kunefe does have a serving notion which you ought to additionally have some ice cream on the aspect, which in no way hurts if you need to take it up a notch. However, the right knafeh is like excellent hummus. If seasoned properly with the proper ingredients and flourishes, it desires no addition of ice cream. Additionally, all knafeh is quality while served warm, so make sure after you end baking and including all of your stuff to spice it up to eat it then and there, otherwise, you’ll remorse letting knafeh cool off.
A grocer’s simplified version of knafeh will by no means replace the knafeh that the matriarch of the family or your preferred Middle Eastern pastry forte spot makes, that is cooked with sincerity. Trader Joe’s Kunefe, for as convenient as it could be, is sincerely a fantastic strive that can be kicked up within the supplemental ingredients to nearly mimic your favorite matriarch’s recipe. Such is the case with all brief fixes, Trader Joe’s Kunefe will nevertheless go away you yearning for the actual issue, in which case you gotta do your googles and start questing.

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