Lebanese are very special when it comes to languages. I, like many Lebanese, speak to my daughter in French, send her to a school where she learns English and Arabic and lives in a country where the spoken language is Lebanese.
Gulf countries have a translation for every foreign word while we Lebanese have our own mishmash of languages, we don’t mind speaking 3 languages in one sentence; if it’s a computer then let’s call it a computer and not “hassoub”, and if French call it Filet, don’t think hard, everybody knows what Filet de boeuf is. I love this! It’s not complicated!
So when Kaia, asks me: “Mom what is cheese in Arabic?”, I proudly answer: “Jibneh”, but if she asks: “What is Cheese Cake?”. I answer: “It’s Cheese Cake!” Who knows what Gateau jibin is!
This morning she asked: “What is Snayniyeh in French?” I said: “It’s Snayniyeh!”. “And in English?” I answered: “Also Snayniyeh!”. She smiled and said: “It’s funny!”
Fair enough, no? Italians have Tiramisu and Panna cotta we Lebanese have Snayniyeh and Meghleh. Why try calling it anything else!
Every name hides a little story behind. Snayniyeh is derived from “snan”, which means teeth in Lebanese and this scrumptious dessert is usually prepared to celebrate the appearance of a child’s first tooth. A sure phenomenal event for every mom!
I love our traditions! Meghleh to celebrate the birth of a child, Snayniyeh for teething, Maamoul for Easter and Awwamat for Ghtas (Christ’s baptismal night), isn’t it sweet☺
The name Snayniyeh put a smile on many faces as it brings back sweet memories! It’s simple and healthy and this is how I make it.
- 1cup hulled wheat, washed and rinsed (in Arabic ameh ma’chour)
- 1lt water
- 1 large pomegranate, peeled and seeded
- 3/4cup icing sugar
- 1/2cup orange-blossom water
- 1/2cup pistachios, soaked in water for about 1 hour
- 1/2cup almonds, soaked in water for about 1 hour
- 1/2cup walnuts, soaked in water for about 1 hour
- 1/2cup sugared chick peas
- Cook the wheat in boiling water for an hour or until tender and all the liquid has been absorbed.
- Remove from heat and stir in icing sugar and orange-blossom water.
- Mix with the pomegranate seeds.
- Scatter the rest of the ingredients on the top and serve hot or cold.