The Making of Mutabak at Zalatimo

The Making of Mutabak at Zalatimo

If you don't already know about Zalatimo, you probably won't be able to find it—or so my local tour guide tells me as we walk into this tiny hole-in-a-wall pastry shop. (Literally - the shop is nestled within the ancient Roman walls surrounding the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City.) There are no menus, because Zalatimo only serves one dish: a savory/sweet pastry called mutabak, which is handmade-to-order from a 150-year-old family recipe. Zalatimo's history is truly a family one: Mohammad Zalatimo opened the first mutabak pastry shop in the old city of Jerusalem in 1860, and the following generations have carried on the tradition, all the way down to his great-grandson (seen in the video below) who became upset when my fellow travelers and I took over the only four tables in the shop. (Granted, he was probably justified in feeling a bit miffed. As part of a culinary tour hosted by Kinetis, a non-profit organization, my traveling group included four other bloggers, our trip hosts, a Jerusalem tour guide, one photographer, and a three-person camera crew! For a shop that small, and with all the pastries made out in the open, it must have been disorienting!)