More sweets, please!

Sweets are extremely important in Algerian life; they are not only small treats you allow yourself now and then. Sweets are produced and consumed in enormeous amounts during family celebrations, mostly weddings, because they are considered to be auspicious for the young couple, the newborn, etc. Usually women start working on them a week before the celebration starts - consider that an average family consists of at least 200 members that have to be invited - and there have to be enough sweets for all also to take back home for the ones that could not participate. Sweets - homemade or not - are also favoured gift and some nourishments like honey or dates are used in popular medicine.

Store specialized in dates and date products

At big family occasions in Algeria people usually offer "patisserie orientale", which is based on almonds and nicely decorated. You can find somehow "classical" sweets of turkish origin like baklawa, and also typical north african style sweets with more sugar and less honey syrup, where the french influence is visible. Here are exmples of the two styles, baklawa on the left, knidlat on the right:

These two plates were made exspecially for us to take home by Khalti (aunt) Hurriya. She contributes to the small family budget by preparing sweets like these on order for big occasions. She works at home and can offer better prices than the pastry shops - think of the amounts needed for a wedding and you can imagine why she has always lots of work! Here are some of her prototypes:

All these candies are made on a base of almonds and sugar.

But sweets are not only consumed at weddings - they are a part of the daily menue, exspecially at breakfast and - even more - at the afternoon coffee. As a health-oriented westerner I always shiver when I see the amounts of suger consumed by an average person there! If you stay for a longer period it is impossible not to put on weight.
Here are some khfifas my sister-in-law Lamia made for the first tooth of her son:

Last not least I should mention that in Algeria you can of course also find a huge variety of "patisserie occidentale" which is of french origin. Here you can find all kinds of tartes and petit fours *yummie* ;-)
For me the sweets in Algeria are my most beloved object of study ;-)
Unlike the other food you find outside (mostly horrible fast-food) in the candies lies all the creativity of the producer. Just try!

Pancakes of my mother-in-law for breakfast


  1. awesome and delicious sweets. Yummy.

  2. All the sweets look delicious but the prototypes are especially tempting!



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