>> Haboaba's Kitchen | Eat the World NYC

30 May 2019

Haboaba's Kitchen

SUDAN 🇸🇩

If you ever happen to travel the country of Sudan, it will be almost certain that you receive an invitation into someone's home. Hospitality is part of everyday life, and Sudanese people will risk life and limb (even if they say it is not any trouble) to make sure any guest is treated with the full arsenal of the kitchen. It is also expected to frequently drop by (often unannounced) the homes of your neighbors, friends, and family to pay respects and catch up on any news.

To make sure to always be prepared for these occasions, every house will have a selection of small treats to serve with tea. Most popular in the country are the sweet biscuits known as baskaweet al-shai, the product offered by brand new Haboaba's Kitchen. Each home has a slightly different recipe and design for the cookies, which can be of many shapes and sizes.


The distinctive shape and taste found in these cookies is of course the famous recipe of grandma, or "haboaba," a term of endearment used in Sudan when speaking to or about a grandmother. The proprietor of Haboaba's Kitchen, Sulafa Bashir, has named her business in honor of her grandmother, who was well known for making this style of unmistakable baskaweet al-shai.

As Eid al-Fitr, the festival of breaking the fast approaches at the coming end of Ramadan, now would be the time to traditionally stock up on these biscuits, by baking a large batch or of course purchasing some to have around. Typically these are enjoyed around breakfast in the morning and later in the afternoon as a tea time snack, but during Ramadan of course these options are not available as most Sudanese are fasting. After Eid al-Fitr, everyone can go back to delighting in their baskaweet al-shai at proper hours.


[DISCLAIMER]
While this article reads much like an advertisement, it is not. I reached out to the business after finding it on Instagram, and was immediately treated as an old friend much like the hospitality described above. This business is not a restaurant, so I was invited to the home of the proprietor after inquiring to learn more and offered tea and biscuits (and an entire iftar feast with a couple other friends). The box below is offered for sale on Haboaba's Kitchen's Etsy page, which we purchased to bring home.

If you are interested, you can find this and their other products here:
Haboaba's Kitchen Etsy page


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