Mahleb is a little-known spice that is mostly used for desserts. Mahleb, or Mahlab, is the pit of a wild cherry from the Middle East. Its taste is both bitter and sweet, with an aroma reminiscent of a floral almond paste.
Finely ground, Mahlab spice is used in numerous sweet breads and pastries, most commonly in Turkey and Armenia. In Greece, Mahleb recipes include special Holiday dishes as well as tsoureki, a dish traditionally served at Easter. It’s great in desserts made with milk or cream, as well as rice pudding or a simple pound cake.