All the Egyptian families are getting ready for Ramadan’s feast to celebrate it; one of these celebrations is making Eid’s feast ‘Kahk’ or cake that used to made with golden pounds in ‘Al-Fatmey’ and ‘Al-Ayobe’ regions but right now it is made with Nutella.
The origin of ‘Kahk’ dates back to ‘Pharos’ region as it was drawn on the cemetery walls. The recipe of ‘Kahk’ making was decorated with ‘Ra’ God signs. Then it became an Islamic custom especially in ‘Al-Fatmey’ and ‘Al-Ayobe regions’. About 20 thousands gold dinar was allocated for making ‘Kahk’ and distributed to citizens.
At this period of time, the Khalifa supervised the distribution of ‘Kahk’ which was made in Rajab- the eight month in Islamic calendar- till Ramadan’s feast in special buildings that were established for this reason in order to present it as a gift to people; also it was considered as a charity. Till now the ‘Kahk’ molds are in the Islamic Art Museum and engraved on them a Phrase “Kol W Oshkor” meaning eat and say thank god.
‘Kahk‘ making is considered as one of the most important habits and customs that the Egyptian society has adopted, even Christian and Jewish Egyptians. Over the years, it became social rituals as women gather to make and decorate it in different forms and shapes, and to add flavors on it such as dates and nuts.
Besides making ‘Kahk‘, there are other desserts that are made like Al-Ghoryba and incised Biscuits. While preparing ‘Kahk’ women keep chatting and the children are sent to get “Al-Sagat” or ‘Kahk’s baking utensils which are the modern way to bake. They used to bake in special ovens in the past.
The scene of girls carrying the utensils and heading to the bakery is a scene of happiness, and then they get back home to add crushed sugar or icing sugar on the top of ‘Kahk’ waiting for the first day of the feast to be given to guests, visitors and children.
Despite the important effect of this feast’s celebration phenomenon to the Egyptians in past, this tradition has declined in the past 20 years as most families are no longer interested in making ‘Kahk’ at homes, but prefer to buy it from shops where new flavors are made like red velvet and Nutella to attract buyers.
But it is very important for Egyptians to have ‘Kahk’ at homes during end of Ramadan’s feast to present it to guests or as a gift. Also it is a valuable meal on the breakfast after Ramadan on the feast’s first day.
Contributed by: Menna Seliem