Mahlab, a spice made from the ground kernels inside cherry pits, was unknown to me until I recently had an American Spoon milk caramel that listed it as an ingredient. A fan of dulce de leche, I saw American Spoon’s version at Chelsea Market Baskets in Chelsea Market. It listed mahlab as an ingredient. Since I love Midwestern cherries, I thought I’d love this. And, indeed, I do. It has a spicy, bitter taste with a floral hint. I’ve been eating it on yogurt and ice cream.
I saw a cooking show today with a recipe for crepes with cajeta, and this milk caramel would be great for that too.
I since learned that mahlab is used in Greek and Middle Eastern baking, and it comes from St. Lucie cherries. Now I’d like to experiment with it myself. First, I have to find it. Know where to get it in NYC?