It's been a continuous mission of mine, to plunge into the vast amount of authentic and traditional bites this country has to offer. Whether sweet or savory, we have many places around and each establishment has something original to offer. Some names include Daouk, Safsouf and Chidiac... Chidiac being the Karabeej king!
Karabeej Halab is a type of ma’moul filled with pistachios or walnuts, and served with Natef. Karabij usually look like Maamoul or stuffed with the same filling making them lose their unique taste. At Chidiac, things are different, a Karabij is a Karabij, respected and created meticulously. Every piece of Karabij is meticulously crafted - identically designed oval shaped sweets with a touch of golden baked color on top. You will feel a spark of excitement when you first take one in your hand. A heavy piece generously filled with pistachio puree. I enjoyed looking at every creation from all sides, admiring them and smelling them … mouthwatering… then I decided to bite into it.
My teeth plunged into a thin piece of dough that melts as it touches your tongue. The soft dough is pleasant to chew as the pistachio filling starts caressing your mouth. Moist pistachio puree, produced by people with profound know-how, cleaned to perfection and mixed together beautifully. Adequately sweetened, you can enjoy the smell of fresh pistachios in every bite stuffed into the fresh dough...
It started with one bite, followed by another... until I found myself eating seven pieces in a row. These Karabeej are to die for! If you ask your parents or relatives, many will agree that Chidiac's Karabij are the best and by far.
As for the Natef, the white foamy meringue cream served with Karabij, Chidiac's is incredibly delicious... made without eggs and can be safely kept un-refrigerated. Take one Karabij, plunge into the Natef and put it as is in your mouth...It's heaven on Earth! The different textures and different aromas could provoke a heart attack of bliss. But if you want my advice, the pieces of Karabij are so good that you don't even need any Natef.
I cannot emphasise enough: you simply have to give these little pieces of heaven a try!