Co-Sponsored Event: Middle Eastern Baking Workshop with the Georgetown University Arab Society and Whole Foods!
This past Saturday, GUES had the incredibly opportunity of co-sponsoring Georgetown University Arab Society's event, a Middle Eastern Baking Workshop. GUAS members and attendees of the event were able to learn and create their own Middle Eastern goodies, thanks to the many wonderful 365 products that Whole Foods DC, GUES's long-standing sponsor, donated for the event. Event attendees used various 365 products, such as flour, cane sugar, powdered sugar, milk, Grade A brown eggs and butter, to craft up fantastic baked goods. Read on to learn more about what was made!
GUAS did a demo of three popular Middle Eastern baked goods. The first was ghraybeh, also known as Lebanese butter cookies, that were made from a soft, pasty dough of powdered sugar and butter, and as a signature, topped with a slivered almond. Once baked, the cookies were soft, crumbly, and both sweet and buttery, making the perfect companion to a cup of tea or coffee or as a delicious post-dinner dessert.
The second dish prepared was manakeesh, a traditional Middle Eastern flatbread topped with zait ou za'atar (Arabic for olive oil and za'atar!). Za'atar is a common spice blend used in the Middle East, typically of thyme, oregano, and sesame seeds. The dough was kneaded by hand, rolled, and flattened into small round discs, to then be topped with the olive oil and spice blend combo and baked. The result was a semi-fluffy, semi-crispy flatbread with a savory and unique flavor on top.
Lastly, a sweet Middle Eastern dessert, basbousa, was demoed. Basbousa is typically served in a cake or in bars, and is made with special coarse semolina flour and drenched in a rose-water or orange-blossom simple syrup. Extremely simple to make, as GUAS demonstrated, basbousa is a common Middle Eastern dessert and its extremely sweet taste goes perfectly with a strong cup of Turkish coffee.
GUAS did a fantastic job demonstrating these various Middle Eastern baked goods at this event – we thank them for extending their hospitality to GUES! We absolutely loved learning more about Middle Eastern culture and food. Special thanks to Whole Foods DC for supplying the many 365 products, which made each dish the more satisfying, as they were made with all-natural, high-quality ingredients.
Taste The Culture
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