Ka'ak

Relationship: Child of im/migrant
Traditional Ka'ak
Traditional Ka'ak

Ka’ak has been a staple in my home for as long as I have lived. It is a crucial part of our heritage as Syrian Jews. My grandmother brought her recipe from Syria more than 50 years ago. Since my grandmother got married at a very young age in Syria, she was taught how to bake ka’ak when she was only 13 years old. She then passed down the tradition to my mother who bakes it just like her. It is a customary tradition in my family to bake it on Thursday nights, so we would have it for the weekend, especially for the Sabbath. There hasn’t been one week where ka’ak wasn’t lying in a glass jar on the kitchen table. 

Ka’ak is a form of breadsticks but ring-shaped instead. It is a crunchy, not too sweet, cookie topped with sesame seeds. Ka’ak is made with flour, baking powder, salt, water, oil, and margarine and then brushed with egg wash and covered in seeds. It is a time-consuming process, as it requires shaping each ring and then baking them at two different temperatures. However, the smell of ka’ak baking in the kitchen makes the entire process worth it. Ka’ak is a dessert for all and can be eaten however one likes, whether with a cup of coffee or tea or just as a quick snack.

I am yet to learn how to bake ka’ak and hopefully, I, too, will pass the tradition along to my children and grandchildren. Not only is it  important that the tradition is kept in my own family, but also in the Syrian community as well, as it unites us all as a nation with a common history. It is a constant reminder of our history as Syrians.

Place(s): New York

– Jenny Yedid

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant