South Asian Sweets in High Demand with the End of Ramadan in Toronto

The Globe and Mail – August 23, 2011

 

It’s a blur of activity in the kitchen of Al-Karam Sweets in Scarborough, where mithai makers are working up to 14-hour days simmering milk, roasting almonds and clarifying butter, all in high demand this last week of Ramadan.

The days leading up to Eid al-Fitr, the celebration that marks the end of the month of fasting next week, are among the busiest of the year for South Asian sweet makers across Canada. In a typical week, Al-Karam sells about two dozen different mithais from the shop’s glass display counter, using 400 litres of milk to prepare them. This week, however, they expect to turn 2,000 litres of milk into the delicacies. Around Eid, they sell 10 times their normal inventory, with some customers walking away with as much as four to five kilograms of treats.