Blade NewsSlide: Plates & People~ So Sweet Bakery

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Chef Salah Zahafi of So Sweet French Lebanese Pastries on Talmadge Rd. by the Franklin Park mall has masterful and worldly touch for pastries and wedding cakes. Originally Tunisian, he worked as a pastry chef at the Le Méridiens in Paris and Baghdad. All his travels, talent and geniality can be summed up in a delightfully complex but simple dessert that goes by many iterations.

Awamat is humble royalty. The honeyed treat has proliferated throughout many cultures, with reference to it by famed historian Abd al-Latif al-Baghdadi as early as the 13th century. The voluminous cataloger of Egyptian culture called them: “Luqmat al-qadi.”

“[It means] the sweets of the judge,” said Executive Pastry Chef Salah Zahafi of So Sweet Lebanese & French Pastries on Talmadge Rd. by the Franklin Park mall. “’Lokma’ is ‘mouthful,’ you know, bite size.”

So, “awamat” is “luqmat al-qadi” is “lokma.” Or rather, awamat is the Lebanese version of the others, but they’re all at the same family reunion.

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