Slideshow: 7 Middle Eastern Sweets You Can't Miss in the Boston Area

Sevan Bakery: Baklava
Sevan Bakery: Baklava
The Little Armenia section of Watertown is densely populated with baklava, but no place takes it more seriously than Sevan Bakery. The family-run shop makes more than half a dozen varieties, all of which feature gorgeously bronzed, shatteringly crisp pastry that's dripping with honey syrup and meaty nut fillings.
Sevan Bakery: Baklava
Sevan Bakery: Baklava
Among the varieties: pistachio (with or without apricot), walnut (with or without fig), hazelnut, and almond.
Sevan Bakery: Fried Dough with Honey
Sevan Bakery: Fried Dough with Honey
The owner called them simply fried dough with honey, but my research suggests that these glossy funnel cakeā€“like spirals are called zoolbia, zolbi, or jalebi, depending on where you're from. The idea is the same: The fried dough tubes are soaked in honey or syrup, which they absorb like sponges. Biting into one is almost juicy.
Massis Bakery: Shaabiyat ($1.50)
Massis Bakery: Shaabiyat ($1.50)
Massis makes most of the same traditional pastries as the other local Armenian bakeries do, but this dairy-filled triangle was a unique find. Breaking open the pistachio-topped phyllo reveals a rich, creamy filling that tastes (and eats) a bit like lightly sweetened ricotta.
Tatte: Halva Rose ($3)
Tatte: Halva Rose ($3)
Tatte, the once-tiny Brookline-based bakeshop owned by Israeli-bron Tzurit Or, made it big a few years ago when its signature nut tarts appeared in Dean and Deluca, a Donna Karen event, and on Oprah's O List. But the Brookline-based bakery deserves recognition for other (dare I say more interesting) pastries. Take the Halva Rose: A rich (but not brioche-rich) yeasted dough swirled with sweet-nutty halva filling.
Tatte: Chocolate Halva Bomb ($3/slice; $30/large)
Tatte: Chocolate Halva Bomb ($3/slice; $30/large)
If the Middle East did chocolate mousse cake, this would be it: layers of creamy halva, satiny chocolate mousse, and dense dark chocolate ganache. One slice could be dessert for a whole family.