Mahlab is an aromatic spice, which comes from the seeds of a species of cherry. The seeds are cracked to extract the seed kernel, which, when fresh, is soft and chewy. Then the seed kernel is ground to a powder and it is ready for use. Its flavor is similar to a combination of bitter almond and cherry. It is used in small quantities to enhance the taste of traditional sweets. In Greek cooking it is mainly used in egg-rich yeast cakes and cookies such as Christmas vasilopita and Easter tsoureki.