Hello, Janet, Have you ever heard the word “sharope”? When I was a child, my grandmother who was Turkish would make a sweet, white paste which she kneaded on the tile floor. We would then snip off pieces and eat them. They tasted of vanilla, and the texture was like a paste, softer than caramel, and not formed. Can you help? – Yael
Yep! Sharope (shah-ROH-peh) is a spoon sweet. It’s a kind of meringue – a marshmallow creme, really – in which hot sugar syrup, rather than dry granulated sugar, is beaten into egg whites for a long, long time with a wooden dowel. Dry sugar separates quickly from beaten egg whites, but the cooked syrup is more stable and doesn’t separate (this, by the way, is also the process for making Italian meringue), so this is a sweet you can make and store in a jar. Sharope might be flavored with lemon or almonds or, as in your grandmother’s case, vanilla, which would be delicious. I’ve never heard of anyone kneading sharope on the floor! It’s not usually so dense to even allow for that kind of handling, although the longer you beat the meringue, the more taffy-like it becomes. I’m guessing your grandmother either beat the meringue for a VERY long time or that she added mastic, which is what gives Turkish ice cream its taffy-like texture (For further explanation, take a look at my post about Dondurma).
If you’re familiar with Marshmallow Fluff, it’s pretty close to sharope – but it ain’t the same.
Thanks for your question, Yael. A good one!
Hay un articulo nuevo hoy en el glosario castellano, sobre los “huevos haminados”. Se lo encuentra aquí.
My small-but-growing Sephardic food glossary is back online; there’s a link in the righthand column (or you can click here). You can still find any related articles I’ve written here on the blog (and slowly but surely I’ll put cross-referenced links on all the various entries).
Mi pequeño-pero-creciendo glosario de comida sefardí esta’ online de nuevo; hay un hyperlink a la derecha (o puedes cliquear aqui). Todavía se encuentra aquí en el blog articulos relacionados que he escrito. Y empiezo 0 - finalmente! - a traducir todo en castellano.
My mother used to make what we called Ajada. It was made with soaked bread, eggs, fresh garlic and lemon juice. It was mixed and mashed together and we used it as a dip for meat. What is the origin of this food? Is it Turkish or Spanish or Greek? I would love a recipe if one is available. Did I ask this question before? Thanks and wish I could come and take a class with you.
Good question, Estelle.
Ajada, a traditional Sephardic condiment, has its roots right here where I live in the north western Mediterranean and is just one member of a broad category of emulsions that are used at table to flavor savory meals – meats, fish, soups, stews, vegetables, you name it. The word ajada is Ladino and translates loosely as ‘a thing made of/with garlic’ which, along with olive oil, is the basic recipe for the whole category. Between Catalan, Spanish, French, Langue d’Òc, Italian and umpteen different dialects of each, garlic & oil emulsion goes by at least a dozen different spellings, among them alioli, aioli, alhòli, alloli, ajjoli, aillade, and ajada. The French word in the group, aillade, is equivalent in structure to the Ladino ajada. The others you see here are all compound words, in various Romance languages, that mean garlic (allium - of the onion family) and oil (oleum). And with this many variations in the spelling alone, you can easily imagine the countless variations in the recipe – Continue reading