User contributions Ingredients from around the world

Evette Mashaal's Massafan (Star Cookies)

Rebecca Lessard, Montréal, Québec

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 the Massafan cookies featured in this episode, 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.
Food brings us together; one shared plate can produce countless moments and memories. The Roots & Recipes project aims to collect recipes and kitchen stories from first and second generation immigrants in Montreal in an inter-generational video series, Dishing Up the Past, and through live events.
For full recipes and more visit
This project was made possible by Gen J.


Please note that the content of the CONTRIBUTIONS section was not created by the Musée de la civilisation or its partners but by the public. The testimonials therefore appear in their original language. No subtitles or transcriptions are available.

In addition, while the Musée de la civilisation reviews and approves all of the testimonials before they are put online, the organization accepts no responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the information provided by the contributors. Should a contribution seem inappropriate, please contact us at