As a child in Egypt, Colette Rossant lived with her extended family in a large house with a full-time kitchen staff. On the first Thursday of every month, her Grandmaman would entertain her many friends, and though Ahmed, the Sudanese chef, always whipped up a number of specialties, Grandmaman herself made the sambusaks—flaky, golden-brown savory pastries filled with fresh farmer's cheese or feta, parmigiano-reggiano, and parsley. If she was feeling magnanimous, Grandmaman would let Colette knead the warm dough. These salty savories would be served first along with tall glasses of iced tea or lemonade at the four o'clock ladies' card party, then reappear later as part of the dinner mazza. For centuries, these pastries—sambusak is Arabic slang for ''turnover''—have been popular snacks in Lebanon, Syria, and Egypt. From Saveur, 1996.