Algeria. If you visit the city of Boufariq (40 Km western of Algiers the capital) and you do see long queues of fasting Algerians stand under the sun rays waiting for their turn to buy something made in secret,don’t be surprised! .. They want their share of “El Zalabia”.
Everyone in Algeria agrees that one of the most significant symbols of Ramadan is “El Zalabia”: A desert sold heavily during Ramadan. It is available throughout the year, but with much less quantities.
Some historians reported that “El Zalabia” is originally a Turkish desert. Algerians learned to cook it during the Ottoman Empire rule, that is why it is also very popular in Turkey, Tunisia, Syria, and Lebanon.
“El Zalabia” is made of flour and oil and it is served fried in the shape of ping pong balls after immersing it in honey syrup which makes it a rich source of calories.
At the city of Boufariq (40 Km western of the capital Algiers) long queues of fasting Algerians are formed waiting for their turn to buy their beloved desert.
People start forming “El Zalabia” queues starting from eleven in the morning, while at three in the afternoon, “El Zalabia” shops cause traffic jams in the surrounding areas. The situation gets on people’s nerves, who forgot that fasting obligates them to behave well and respect each other.
Boufraiq has a reputation as the best city in Algeria for cooking this type of sweets. It is a legacy recipe kept by three families who prefer to prepare the dough “El Zalabia” of in secret, and away from the limelight of the media inside their houses.
Locals in Boufraiq assured EMAJ magazine that members of the three famous families can hardly sleep during Ramadan to meet demands on their sweets coming from sweets cafes and shops in Boufraiq and nearby cities.