I’ve always believed that if you want to taste the best food, you should ask the locals, especially ones who know where to get it.
Our house in Joun is located in a neighborhood where a family, originally from Saida, resides. They’re very good friends and we’re always sharing food with them, whether it’s new meals my mother prepares, or completely new foods that are totally unknown to us, but highly recommended by them.
One day, as I was spending the Fitr weekend in Joun, the neighbor came over with a cake called Atayef. I’ve always known Atayef to be a pastry made with small, pancake-like dough and ashta cream or walnuts, and prepared on Berbara day. But this Atayef came completely different and with an epic taste!
It is also made with pancake-like dough (same as the one used in the other type of Atayef), but this one is larger and has the size of a regular cake. It is topped with cheese and sprinkled with sugar syrup, then covered with another layer of dough. It is then put in the oven until the dough becomes crunchy. It is enjoyed hot with additional sugar syrup of you like your desserts to be extra sweet. I cannot begin to express how good it tastes. It is by far, one of the best Lebanese desserts I’ve ever had. It is so light that you cannot get enough of it! I personally had it lukewarm and with no additional syrup, but it was exquisitely delicious…
The reason why I call it Atayef Ramadan is because it is prepared mostly during Ramadan and its production lessens on other months. The one we had was made at Al-Sabki pastry shop in Saida, which is apparently the best shop to make Atayef in Saida.
I highly, highly recommend you get to taste this dessert because you’ll fall in love with it, right from the first bite.