Tein Al-Haboul is a traditional delicacy prepared with special social rituals

Tein Al-Haboul or (steamed dried fig) is a popular delicious delicacy with a pleasant flavor and many health benefits that the Masyaf region in the western countryside of Hama is famous for, especially in Tayr Jamla, Baqraqa, Anboura, Bilin and Deir Mama villages.

 

"Tein Al-Haboul , which is dried figs,  is consumed as a nutritious snack in winter, as it has wonderful rituals when eaten by the family, friends and relatives who are sitting around the heating stoves.It gives these gatherings a lot of fun and joy", according to Muhammad Abbas, a member of the Heritage Revival Team in Deir Mama.

Abbas went on to say, "The region's fame for the fig industry is derived from its wide fame in  growing and producing  the fig crop, especially in this village, which is considered one of the most famous regions for producing and manufacturing this product.”

With regard to the way of preparing Tein Al-Haboul, Abbas showed that there are several varieties of Haboul figs, such as the red, the sumac, the Frizi, the Marmalli, the Shiblawi, and the Chatwi. As for the cooking of figs, he indicated that it usually takes place at this period of the year at the end of the summer. Enthusiastic and happy village women gather to prepare figs. They talk and listen to traditional songs while they boil figs over a fire made of twigs. Then they dry the figs under the sun before they collect and press them into containers of various sizes, considering that this local industry is one of the income-generating micro-enterprises for its owners and workers.

Souad al-Hassan, a resident of the village, said after picking the figs, I open each fig and spread it under the sun until it becomes almost dry, then I put all the opened figs inside the refrigerator. After that, I steam it over a pot of boiling water until it becomes soft. During steaming, cinnamon or other flavorings can be added to give lovely flavor to the figs. The figs then are chopped with a mincer and formed into balls or linear pieces covered with a layer of bulgur flour “Frefour,” coconut, sesame, or soft sugar as desired, and sometimes it is stuffed with nuts and served as a meal with a plate of tahini, which gives it a special flavor and delicious taste.

Families in the village serve Tein Al-Haboul to visitors and guests, along with tahini, walnuts, and more. It is also a source of income for many families in the village, according to Amathel Hassan, who confirms that the price of one kilogram of Al-Haboul figs is currently sold between SYP10 and 15 thousand.

Experts and nutritionists point out that the fig fruit contains important nutrients for the body, promoting the health of the digestive system, improving the health of blood vessels and the heart, controlling blood sugar and treating the symptoms of skin infections.

Amal Farhat

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