Episode 4: Evette Mashaal’s Massafan (Star Cookies)
At the age of 13, Evette Mashaal’s family was forced to leave Baghdad during the persecution of the Jews in Iraq in the late 1940s. They settled in Montreal. As a child in Baghdad, Evette remembers sitting at a table on the floor to clean the wheat and bring it to the mill to turn it into flour. With it they would make a type of flat bread that she replicates every year for Passover with her granddaughters in Westmount. Baking is one of their favorite activities together. Families in Baghdad would also bring flourless cookies such as these Massafan to one another during Passover. Evette never actually copied a recipe, but created her own based on her palate and the conversations she overheard amongst other women in Iraq. She wrote it down for a cookbook she put together for her granddaughter Samantha’s Bat Mitzvah.