Acclaimed cookbook author Salma Hage grew up in the mountains of the Kadisha Valley in Northern Lebanon. Like many cooks, she learned her craft at her mother’s knee, as well as those of other female relatives in her household, where she often took on the role of cook for her eleven siblings. Her most recent book, Middle Eastern Sweets, pays homage to the many sweet endings to traditional family meals plus the rich multicultural influences that have defined Lebanon and the region for centuries. These include a wide variety of cakes, cookies, pastries, ice creams and other delights, some classic and standard, others nuanced to suit the modern, health-conscious palate. Yet all reflect the distinctively Middle Eastern flavors that Hage came to know at an early age and which define the region’s fondness for desserts.