Mahleb or mahlepi is an aromatic spice made from the seeds of a species of cherry, St. Luccie cherry tree. The spice’s taste is said to resemble bitter almond and cherries. It has a sweet, bold fragrance and very characteristic taste.
Traditionally, mahleb is used in tsoureki, Christmas cake and cookies. Because of the spice’s strong fragrance and taste, it is recommended that the dosage used should remain small.