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The celebration spice! Mahlepi (also known as mahlebi or mahlab, amongst its various other spellings) is a unique Greek spice with a distinctive, fruity taste. Mahlepi powder is made from the inner kernels of fruit pits from a native Persian cherry tree. Once the stone is cracked to release the kernel, it is ground into a white, sandy-coloured powder used in baked goods, particularly in Middle-Eastern and Greek cooking.

For many Greeks, the sweet smell of Mahlepi suggests the aroma of freshly bakedtsoureki, a traditional sweet breadgenerally reserved for Greek Easter and Christmas. The flavour and aroma is a cross between a sweet cherry and bitter almond, and should be used sparingly.

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