Gazan Knafa versus Nabulsi Knafa

Suha Najjar is on the ground in the Gaza Strip and taking full advantage of the sweet little knafa war that can be found there.

Knafa, which I take to be the Palestinian national dessert, is known around the world in the form that was first perfected in Nablus: one layer of fine orange noodle shreds or packed semolina on top of a layer of Nabulsi cheese. Admittedly, it makes for an excellent treat that draws attention and praise from Arab communities anywhere in the world.

But Gaza’s knafa, aptly named Knafa ‘Arabiya or Arabian Knafa, is a friendly rival to the Nabulsi knafa we know so well. This knafa is brown not orange and it lacks cheese. I can’t be sure if I even know what it’s made of but I do know that I have a personal preference for it. Although not as sweet as Nabulsi knafa, the more-wholesome flavor strikes the senses harder and, to many, offers a brief stint of normalcy in Gaza’s besieged reality.

Here’s a photograph taken by Suha. Nabulsi knafa is on the left and Gaza’s knafa is on the right. Which would you hail as the knafa king?

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There are 4 comments

  1. wordofthewiss

    The Gazan knafa is made out of walnuts and cinnamon. They call it Knafet Jooz or Basmet Jooz.
    The Knafa however is not a Palestinian desert (don’t get me wrong I am Palestinian), you will find other manifestations of the Knaafa across the Arab region. The Lebanese have one that they call Knafa na’ame (smooth). It is isn’t orange, its brown, and has Akawi cheese instead of Nabulsi. There is Knafa b’ashta, which comes with creme cheese as well. I think the Nabulsis cannot accept that they did not invent the Knafa, so they hijacked the name calling it Knafa Nabulsiye (coming from Nablus), but if you ask me the Gazan one is more creative than the rest of the region (the only one without lactose). For me, I would go with the Lebanese one. The cheese is not as salty, and they serve it with ka’ak in a form of a sandwich. A great breakfast treat.

  2. Is7an

    Is this truly newsworthy? Where are your publication standards? Also, how am I to judge the quality of these sweets from a PHOTOGRAPH. Please advise.

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