In the last few years I’ve developed occasional heart palpitations. It’s nothing debilitating but important enough to get checked out. After some initial tests came back negative, my doctor suggested a “nuclear stress test.” The test involves fasting the 12 hours prior. At the facility they attach diodes to your chest. You then run on a treadmill in 3 minute stages with a higher and higher incline and pace. The idea is to see how the heart reacts to the exercise.
It’s called “nuclear” because they inject a trace amount of Thallium into the bloodstream. This allows them to get an image of your chest in order to look for blockages. They gave me a paper to hand to people with a message to the effect of: ‘this patient was injected with a radioactive substance. Don’t worry it was a tiny amount and won’t bother you.” The good news is that yours truly passed the test, meaning my heart is fine. The doctor said that there are millions of people with the same issue and if often disappears just as mysteriously as it came.
As a reward for becoming radioactive I walked up 5th avenue (Bay Ridge, Brooklyn) where there are quite a few Persian Gulf restaurants and pastry shops. I checked out Cedars Pastry. The cashier was extremely helpful explaining what all of the options were. She explained that while the store is Lebanese, there is quite a bit of overlap with the surrounding countries. They have the same sweets but with different names.
The namoura was rich, though not as sweet as expected. It was made with coconut and semolina. Splitting one piece was satisfying enough. It reminded me of a more intense version of Caribbean cassava pone.
The other sweet was called knafeh which the pastry shop employee suggested warming up. It features a filo dough like topping which was mildly sweetened with orange blossom and honey. There was a layer of a cheese similar to mozzarella but chewier. They also provided a small amount of sugar syrup to pour on top. It was excellent with coffee.
Hopefully the next time I can stop by Cedars Pastry, it won’t be on the occasion of radioactivity. Note: They also make home made Arab ice creams such as pistachio and rosewater.
7204 Fifth Ave(Between 72nd and 73rd)
Bay Ridge, Brooklyn