Shanklish is a type of cow's or sheep's milk cheese made in Syria and Lebanon. It is typically formed into small balls, which are often covered in zaatar and Aleppo pepper, then aged and dried. The most common spice is thyme. Shanklish varies greatly in its texture and flavor. Fresh cheeses have a soft texture and mild flavor, while those dried and aged for longer periods become harder and more pungent in both odor and flavor. Spices such as aniseed and chili can be mixed in before the cheese is formed into balls. Shanklish is generally eaten with finely-chopped tomato, onion, and olive oil; and often accompanied by araq. It is a common mezze dish. Shanklish is also mashed up with eggs or crushed in a pita with cucumbers, mint, and olive oil for breakfast.
Shanklish is typically made into balls which are approximately 6 inches in diametre. Sometimes it is also sold in smaller sizes. These balls of cheese are often rolled in zaatar and Aleppo pepper. This mixture gives the cheese a very unique flavor. Aleppo pepper is a typically Syrian pepper which is moderately spicy, and has a mild, cumin-like flavor. The cheese, after being rolled in these spices is then aged and dried. The spices are what give the cheese its tennis ball-like appearance.
Selecting and Buying
Preparation and Use
Shanklish is usually eaten with finely chopped tomatoes, onions and olive oil.
Conserving and Storing
Store in air tight container in refrigerator for 5-7 days.