Sitto’s Syrian String Cheese

Published August 30, 2017

When Sitto made Syrian String Cheese, I would eagerly watch as she melted the cubes of cheese curd in her pan with a little bit of simmering water. As it formed into a melted ball, she’d pick up the glob of cheese and, with seemingly heat-resistant hands, she’d quickly add the Mahlab spice and the nigella seeds. Just as quickly, she’d put her thumb through the melted cheese ball and begin to pull the cheese back and forth into “strings.” She’d bounce the lines of cheese as she gently stretched them. When she had several strings of cheese pulled, she’d quickly twist them and, miraculously, form it all into a “figure 8”!!! It was a sight to see!

All these many years later, now that I too am a Sitto, I enjoy the fun of this, as my own grandchildren watch in wonder. But it’s not as difficult or tricky as it looks and even some strands that don’t quite make it into the “figure 8” shape, are pulled off so that little waiting mouths can taste the bonus strands!

If you haven’t tried this, don’t hesitate! The instructions are on page 16. I know that store-bought #Syrian cheese can be easily found, but you will be amazed at how delicious the taste of the Mahlab spice makes this cheese authentically #Aleppo!