Butternut Squash Sweets - Gastro Obscura
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Butternut Squash Sweets

Near the exit of an old souk, a small shop has been making gourd-based goodies for generations.

For many people, butternut squash usually conjures images of falling leaves, warm soup, and other aspects of the autumnal season. But inside an old souk in Tripoli, Lebanon, there’s a shop that has a whole different take on the sweet and nutty crop. 

The Haddad family has been making gourd-based goodies for over a century. Their small shop offers a jam-like treat that is soft and mellow with hints of the squash’s bitter rind; a more set and glazed candy with almonds, walnuts, and pistachios, in which the nuts blend wonderfully with the sweet flavors; and a much harder and drier candy, almost like chocolate, that comes with walnuts.

Nouh el-Haddad is also known for a rice-based dough enlivened with a touch of rose water that is served filled with ashta (a typical milk-based sweet cream found in Lebanon).

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