Mahlab - Originating in West Asia, mahlab is made from the seeds of a cherry called the ‘St. Lucie’ cherry, or Mahaleb cherry. Recipes using the St. Lucie cherry go as far back as ancient Sumer.
Mahlab is used in baking, pastries, and Middle Eastern bread. It is also used in different Greek holiday breads, such as Christmas bread. It is used in the Arabic Middle East and Turkey in different types of scones, and in Egypt it is a honey paste that is eaten as a dessert. It is slowly making its way back into mainstream English cooking.
Tasting like cherries and roses, mahlab has a slight hint of vanilla and bitter aftertaste. It smells like almonds, cherries, sesame and cinnamon.
Also known as: Mahalepi - Mahleb - Prunus mahaleb - محلب