Kunafa: For Breakfast or Dessert?

Welcome to Short Order Show & Tell, where one of us brings a local delicacy to our weekly staff meeting and we all weigh in on its deliciousness.

To kick things off, we begin with the humble Kunafa, a sweet-and-savory pastry from Oriental Bakery in Brickell.

This brightly colored treat has three layers -- a bottom layer of shredded wheat drizzled with simple syrup, a cheesy middle layer containing mozzarella and ricotta, and a top layer of the same shredded wheat and syrup with the addition of bright kunafa coloring, essentially powdered food coloring.

The New Timers responded positively, calling the pastry "light" and "perfectly sweet." Comparisons to baklava were not surprising, considering Oriental Bakery's Mediterranean roots, as well as to Italian cheesecake due to the ricotta flavor. Several agreed it could use some crunch, however, perhaps from pistachios.

All agreed kunafa is best suited for breakfast or dessert, slightly warmed, with a glass of Sauternes. One person mentioned it might pair well with tomato sauce due to the pair of Italian cheeses within, but we're pretty sure they were kidding (we hope).

The final verdict: 7 out of 10. Try it for yourself at Oriental Bakery and Grocery for $3 a serving.

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Daniel Treiman
Contact: Daniel Treiman