For some reason, I decided that the middle of August was a good time to visit the Middle East. Not only is it staggeringly hot, it's also Ramadan and food has been a little difficult to come by in the Muslim cities I've visited, at least during the daylight hours.
When the sun goes down, however, everything gets better: the temperature drops, the restaurants open, and I can make up for all the eating I didn't get to do during the day. Fresh flatbreads right off the griddle, rich hummus studded with grilled meat and roasted pine nuts, honey-soaked almond cakes, gritty black coffee perfumed with cardamom.
I've also had the opportunity, after dark or hiding in the back corner of half-open ice cream shops, to taste some great ice creams. One flavor that was particularly delicious was a halvah ice cream, made with the region's signature sesame paste. Sweet and creamy with a nutty base note that pairs perfectly with the mixed-in almonds, cashews, and pistachios. I've attempted to recreate the recipe here.
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About the author:
Ethan Frisch is the chef and co-mastermind behind Guerrilla Ice Cream. He's traveled around the world and worked as a pastry chef and line cook in some of NYC's great (and not so great) restaurants. He currently lives in London, where he really misses New York City tap water.