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Syrian Delights

January 9, 2019

Can we talk about the world without talking about politics for one hot minute?

Right now everyone in America is totally riled up about what’s happening in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. But bad bad things are afoot with Turkey and Syria.

Global affairs is complicated stuff. Especially when it comes to war in the Middle East. But it sounds like someone in D.C. realized that if the U.S. troops pull out of Syria, our Turkish allies will likely start killing our Kurdish allies. And just the other day, we made a diplomatic attempt to stop it, but failed. What happens next is anyone’s guess. But how many people in America will be too distracted to even notice?

The truly awful thing is that I don’t know what can be done about any of this.

What gives me hope is that there are much much better people than me, who are actively doing something about helping some of the people who have managed to escape this disaster. Right here in the Capital Region is an operation called New York for Syrian Refugees. In their resettlement efforts of 40 refugee families, they discovered some of the mothers were excellent cooks. And just recently, they have started something delightful.

Here’s the official blurb from Facebook:

Syrian Delights is a community-supported business operated by Syrian mothers who are skilled in preparing delicacies from several cities in Syria, Damascus, Dar’aa, Aleppo, and Homs. Syrian Delights is an opportunity for them to apply their skills and empower themselves and their families by earning an income. Their mission is to spread love through sharing authentic, handmade Syrian cuisine with the Capital District community, in order to create a better life for their children. The women of Syrian Delights thank you for your support in helping them achieve their dreams.

Here’s a picture of the kunafa from Syrian Delights that some friends of ours brought over recently.

I’ve been obsessed with this sweet, made from delicate, fresh cheese sandwiched between shredded filo dough which is soaked in rosewater syrup, since my first bite. And now it’s available by the tray with a week’s notice.

But Syrian Delights isn’t just about sweets. They have a full menu of dishes I can’t wait to try.

Motabaal sounds like it’s baba ganoush that’s been enriched with yogurt. Then there are the hot dishes like kibbeh, and even though deep fried pockets of bulgur, meat, and nuts may not be on my current diet, I can dare to dream. A spinach fatayer hand pie is filled with spinach, so that has to be healthy, right? There are six main dishes, and I’m really eager to taste the maklouba (fried eggplant, meat, and nuts over rice) and the yabrak (grape leaves stuffed with meat).

Based on the deliciousness of the kunafa, I have every faith the food is going to be great. It’s a little tricky to get, because right now Syrian Delights is a catering operation and everything comes in trays to feed a minimum of 10 people. That said, the food is also incredibly reasonable.

Ten pieces of the spinach hand pies are $15. The same quantity of kibbeh is $25. A plate of motabbal to feed ten is $35. A tray of maklouba is $65. And desserts are all $35 a tray. Put them all together and it’s a veritable Syrian feast for $17.50 per person.

I’m not sure when, and I’m not sure where, but this is something I would really like to throw together. Who would be interested in showing up for a night out like this? Let me know, and if there’s enough interest, maybe it will happen.

If not, that shouldn’t stop you from ordering on your own. The team at Syrian Delights has asked for a week to prepare each order. All the details are on the Facebook page. And if you do get an order in before I have a chance, I’d love to hear about some of your favorite dishes.

In the meantime, maybe you can help me help them get the word out and share the Syrian Delights Facebook page with your friends and family. It may not help to solve any of the many international crises unfolding across the globe today, but it will help make things better for the human beings displaced by one of them.

At the very least get yourself a tray of that kunafa. There’s nothing else like it locally, and we’re lucky to have a source for this very special treat.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. -R. permalink
    January 9, 2019 11:18 am

    For those of us who shun the permeating evil that is Facebook, is there any additional contact information to be had? And yes, I would be up for an afternoon/evening of Syrian delicacies – who wouldn’t be?

  2. Josh K. permalink
    January 9, 2019 11:32 am

    awesome – UYE!

  3. Ryan H permalink
    January 9, 2019 11:46 am

    I would be up for it.

  4. omaxwell permalink
    January 9, 2019 11:58 am

    I’m in. Let me know where and when (hopefully not in next 10 days as I’m traveling).

  5. Benjamin M. permalink
    January 9, 2019 12:01 pm

    Our Bible study works with some of the women in the group and we ordered their food for a party we had. It was pretty good, but not what you would expect. Their take on flavor profiles was a bit different and I would say their food was lighter on spices and strong flavors. Certainly it was good though.

  6. chrisck permalink
    January 9, 2019 12:13 pm

    This is fantastic. One of the things I know about so-called “ethnic” foods from my German and Greek background is that there are many wonderful dishes that are cooked in the home that are never seen on restaurant menus. I’ll bet these women are making some similar dishes.

  7. Amy Koren-Roth permalink
    January 9, 2019 1:52 pm

    I would love to join this event if it happens. Thanks.

  8. Lauren Darman permalink
    January 9, 2019 2:38 pm

    I am in for a gathering, and my 27-year old son would love to come too – he counts as 2 portion-wise. Let me know!

  9. RogerK permalink
    January 9, 2019 7:01 pm

    Count me in.

  10. Karen O permalink
    January 10, 2019 11:28 am

    The food sounds absolutely delightful! And it’s authentic cuisine from people who know and love to make it. I’d be happy to order some food for my extended family soon.

  11. April 23, 2019 10:56 pm

    A nice post!

    We have some news: we now have a website, with online ordering!

    If you do arrange a gathering and are new to Syrian Cuisine, check out the “Build a Feast” link on the top menu for some chef-inspired combinations.


  1. A food blogger has discovered us! – Syrian Delights Catering

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