Jaafer Sweets

Press & Awards

Jaafer Sweets has been featured many times in various media publications. Please take a look below at the different articles.

ABC Chicago

Chicago Tribune Newspaper
Good Eating Section - Middle Eastern

A taste for honey, nuts and pastry

When it comes pastries of the Middle East, the undisputed star of the show is baklava in its many variations. According to The Kitchen, Project's Web site on "The History of Baklava" it originated with Assyrians in the 8th Century B.C. as a thin dough topped with nuts and honey. The Greeks introduced the paper-thin sheets of phyllo dough, and the Ottoman Turks added spices (cinnamon, cloves and cardamom) that were said to enhance the aphrodisiac qualities of the honey and walnuts.

"Baklava is a common word, but for the rest [of the commonly eastern pastries] everybody has a different word or spelling," said Jaafer co-owner Art Yanni. The different choices of Baklava include shredded wheat or shredded filo spread over cheese custard or wrapped around nuts; buttery semolina-based cookies, often filled with dates and nuts; cracked wheat and nut squares; sesame-seeds or nut squares, and fried doughnuts.

Variations, include using sugar syrup instead of honey, vegetable oil instead of butter (during Lent) and even substituting aspartame for sugar to make sugar-free sweets.

Jaafer Sweets (4825 N Kedzie Ave, 773-463-3933) is a clean, bright, buttery-smelling Albany Park bakery where the proprietors are happy to describe their various wares and even offer samples of some of the following.


$7.50 per pound or $8.50 per pound for sugar-free versions.

How they are eaten

Middle Eastern sweets are normally eaten after dinner or in the afternoon with a strong cup of coffee especially Turkish coffee. Boxes of these sweets are given to mark birthdays, celebrations and even Muslim, Christian and Jewish holidays.

Bakery Etiquette

These sweets are sold by the pound, not by the piece. Many Middle Eastern bakeries serve coffee or tea at little tables in the shop and are happy to offer samples. If you have an aversion to perfume flavors in your pastries, ask which ones contain rose water or orange-flower water and avoid them.

"Tasty" in Arabic: Zaky

This category also includes pistachio baklava, rolled ladyfingers, pistachio-filled birds nests, cigar-shape cashew rolls and chocolate walnut baklava.
Shredded wheat or shredded phyllo spread over sweet cheese and sugar syrup and cut into squares.
Pistachios rolled in shredded wheat, deep-fried, then sliced into rounds.
Creamy ground sesame seeds mixed with sugar and pistachios and pressed into a block before slicing.
Like us on Facebook Go To Our Facebook Page About Us See Reviews Contact Us Press and Awards Directions
4825 N. Kedzie Chicago, IL 60625 Phone: 773-463-3933 Fax: 773-463-0417 Acceptance Mark