Some people say that cheese, sugar and pastry have no business being on the same plate. These people are idiots. From cheesecake to cannoli, there are hundreds of puds that prove that cheese is just as at home in a sweet course as it is smothered on pasta. However, no dessert debunks this misconception more effectively than the all-conquering, awesomely gooey, seriously sticky Turkish specialty known as kunefe.
A mixture of phyllo pastry, stringy cheese, sweet syrup and pistachios, kunefe is the ultimate evidence that everything is better when you cover it in sugar. To make the dish, strands of angel hair dough are wrapped around a cheesy centre, before being gently fried to create a golden, crisp finish. Covered in syrup and served hot and melty, kunefe is like a deep dish pizza, only sugary. And now, for the first time ever, you can get your hands on it at Trader Joe’s.
According to multiple reports, the retailer have begun to roll out the Middle Eastern specialty across its stores. Currently on sale for just $3.99, this is the latest example of Trader Joe’s adding some international flair to their shelves, following in the footsteps of favourites including stroopwafel sandwiches and gyoza potstickers. Time will tell whether kunefe can have a similar impact.
Those who have already tried Trader Joe’s take on the dish have been almost universally positive, with many reserving particular praise for the separate sachet of syrup that facilitates a post-cooking soak. However, there have also been a number of warnings issued over the nutritional content, with one reviewer advising that customers “Just don’t look at the calorie count. Just. Don’t.”
Given that kunefe has historically been a fairly niche dish, it’s not certain whether Trader Joe’s version will find a following. However, there is evidence that its popularity is growing, with “#kunefe” appearing almost 65,000 times on Instagram. Given how delicious the dessert is, thousands of people will be hoping that Trader Joe’s decision is the start of a wider kunefe explosion.