Appears in
Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

lauzinaj (lawzinaj, lawzinaq, luzina) is a pastry and confection whose main ingredient is almonds (in Arabic, lauz). “Supreme judge of all sweets,” “stones of paradise,” “food of kings”—such were the glowing epithets heaped on this quintessentially medieval dessert of the Arab-Muslim world. No wedding should be without it, and dreaming of it presaged jolly times. In addition to its seductive taste, lauzinaj was believed to have beneficial medicinal properties. It helped induce sleep, nourish the brain, and ripen cold humors in chest and lungs.