Turmeric has a sharply strong taste and earthy odor. Turmeric plays a major role as a natural anti-inflammatory, it helps your body fight foreign invaders and has an affect in repairing damage. The flavor of turmeric is described as a little peppery but it gives my sfouf desert an amazing flavor and distinctive taste in addition of the lovely yellow color which sfouf is famous with.
Anise seed is native to the Mediterranean basin, and has been used throughout history in both sweet and savory applications. Anise has long been known as an aid to digestion. The Romans ended their elaborate feasts with anise cakes. Anise powder has a sweet flavor tending to remind you of licorice that’s why wherever you add this amazing spice to your recipe, you can say yummy in every bite. Anise powder is used heavily in many of my delicious Lebanese desserts like moghly, kaak, sfouf and many more.
Nutmeg is the spice made by grinding the seed of the fragrant nutmeg tree into powder. The spice has a distinctive pungent fragrance and a warm slightly sweet taste; it is used to flavor many kinds of dishes especially I use it in many Lebanese deserts like sesame cookies or kaak and moghly. It gives these desserts a very distinctive taste and aromatic flavor.
Mahlab or mahleb:
Mahlab is an aromatic spice made from the seeds of a species of cherry. The cherry stones are cracked to extract the seed kernel which is grounded to the powder we use now. Mahlab has a distinctive fragrance similar to almond and marzipan as well as its taste is both bitter and sweet that is why you have to be careful with adding the right amount to your recipe . It has been used for centuries in the Middle East as a flavoring to many desserts.
Mahlab contains high levels of omega 3 fatty acids and many health benefits. I use mahlab to flavor my amazing katayef, maamoul , my special sesame kaak and many more of my Lebanese desserts.