Baklava (/ˈbɑːkləvɑː/, /bɑːkləˈvɑː/, or /bəˈklɑːvə/; [baːklavaː]) is a rich, sweet dessert pastry made of layers of filo filled with chopped nuts and sweetened and held together with syrup or honey. It is characteristic of the cuisines of the Levant and the broader Middle East, along with the Caucasus, Balkans, Maghreb, and Central Asia.
An assortment of baklava purchased in Beirut, Lebanon.
|Place of origin||Ottoman Empire|
|Region or state||Middle East (notably Levant), Caucasus, Balkans, Maghreb, and Central Asia|
|Serving temperature||Cold, room temperature or re-warmed|
|Main ingredients||Filo dough, nuts, sweetening|
The word baklava is first attested in English in 1650, a borrowing from Ottoman Turkish بقلاوه /bɑːklɑvɑː/. The name baklava is used in many languages with minor phonetic and spelling variations.
Historian Paul D. Buell argues that the word "baklava" may come from the Mongolian root baγla- 'to tie, wrap up, pile up' composed with the Turkic verbal ending -v; baγla- itself in Mongolian is a Turkic loanword. Armenian linguist Sevan Nişanyan considers its oldest known forms (pre-1500) to be baklağı and baklağu, and labels it as being of Proto-Turkic origin. Another form of the word is also recorded in Persian, باقلبا (bāqlabā). Though the suffix -vā might suggest a Persian origin, the baqla- part does not appear to be Persian and remains of unknown origin.
Although the history of baklava is not well documented, its current form was probably developed in the imperial kitchens of the Topkapı Palace in Istanbul. The Sultan presented trays of baklava to the Janissaries every 15th of the month of Ramadan in a ceremonial procession called the Baklava Alayı.
There are three proposals for the pre-Ottoman roots of baklava: the Roman placenta cake, as developed through Byzantine cuisine,  the Central Asian Turkic tradition of layered breads, or the Persian lauzinaq.
The oldest (2nd century BCE) recipe that resembles a similar dessert is the honey covered baked layered-dough dessert placenta of Roman times, which Patrick Faas identifies as the origin of baklava: "The Greeks and the Turks still argue over which dishes were originally Greek and which Turkish. Baklava, for example, is claimed by both countries. Greek and Turkish cuisine both built upon the cookery of the Byzantine Empire, which was a continuation of the cooking of the Roman Empire. Roman cuisine had borrowed a great deal from the ancient Greeks, but placenta (and hence baklava) had a Latin, not a Greek, origin—please note that the conservative, anti-Greek Cato left us this recipe."
Shape the placenta as follows: place a single row of tracta along the whole length of the base dough. This is then covered with the mixture [cheese and honey] from the mortar. Place another row of tracta on top and go on doing so until all the cheese and honey have been used up. Finish with a layer of tracta. ... place the placenta in the oven and put a preheated lid on top of it ... When ready, honey is poured over the placenta.
Several sources state that this Roman dessert continued to evolve during the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Empire into modern baklava. In antiquity the Greek word plakous (Greek: πλακοῦς) was also used for Latin placenta, and the American scholar Speros Vryonis describes one type of plakous, koptoplakous (Byzantine Greek: κοπτοπλακοῦς), as a "Byzantine favorite" and "the same as the Turkish baklava", as do other writers. Indeed, the Roman word placenta (Greek: πλατσέντα) is used today on the island of Lesbos in Greece to describe a baklava-type dessert of layered pastry leaves containing crushed nuts that is baked and then covered in honey.
Muhammad bin Hasan al-Baghdadi was a compiler from the Abbasid period who described lauzinaq, a dessert said by some to have been similar to baklava, though others say it was not like baklava. Lauzinaq, which derives from the Aramaic word for almond, refers to small pieces of almond paste wrapped in very thin pastry ("as thin as grasshoppers' wings") and drenched in syrup. Al-Baghdadi's cookbook, Kitab al-Tabikh, was written in 1226 (in today's Iraq) and was based on a collection of 9th century Persian-inspired recipes. According to Gil Marks, Middle Eastern pastry makers developed the process of layering the ingredients; he asserts that "some scholars said they were influenced by Mongols or Turks". The only original manuscript of al-Baghdadi's book survives at the Süleymaniye Library in Istanbul (Turkey) and according to Charles Perry, "for centuries, it had been the favorite cookbook of the Turks," though Perry also notes that the manuscript has no recipe for baklava. A further 260 recipes had been added to the original by Turkish compilers at an unknown date retitling it as Kitâbü’l-Vasfi’l-Et‘ime el-Mu‘tâde, and two of its known three copies can be found now at the Topkapı Palace Library in Istanbul. Eventually, Muhammad ibn Mahmud al-Shirwani, the physician of the Ottoman Sultan Murad II prepared a Turkish translation of the book, adding around 70 contemporary recipes.
Another recipe for a similar dessert is güllaç, a dessert found in the Turkish cuisine and considered by some as the origin of baklava. It consists of layers of filo dough that are put one by one in warmed up milk with sugar. It is served with walnut and fresh pomegranate and generally eaten during Ramadan. The first known documentation of güllaç is attested in a food and health manual, written in 1330 that documents Mongol foods called Yinshan Zhengyao (飮膳正要, Important Principles of Food and Drink), written by Hu Sihui, an ethnic Mongol court dietitian of the Yuan dynasty. Uzbek cuisine has pakhlava, puskal or yupka or in Tatar yoka, which are sweet and salty savories (börekler) prepared with 10–12 layers of dough.
There are also some similarities between baklava and the Ancient Greek desserts gastris (γάστρις), kopte sesamis (κοπτὴ σησαμίς), and kopton (κοπτόν) found in book XIV of the Deipnosophistae. However, the recipe there is for a filling of nuts and honey, with a top and bottom layer of honey and ground sesame similar to modern pasteli or halva, and no dough, certainly not a flaky dough.
Baklava is normally prepared in large pans. Many layers of filo dough, separated with melted butter and vegetable oil, are laid in the pan. A layer of chopped nuts—typically walnuts or pistachios, but hazelnuts are also sometimes used—is placed on top, then more layers of filo. Most recipes have multiple layers of filo and nuts, though some have only top and bottom pastry.
Before baking (180 °C, 356 °F, 30 minutes), the dough is cut into regular pieces, often parallelograms (lozenge-shaped), triangles, diamonds or rectangles. After baking, a syrup, which may include honey, rosewater, or orange flower water is poured over the cooked baklava and allowed to soak in.
Baklava is usually served at room temperature, often garnished with ground nuts.
In Turkey, baklava is traditionally made by filling between the layers of dough with pistachios, walnuts or almonds (in some parts of the Aegean Region). In the Black Sea Region hazelnuts are commonly used as a filling for baklava. Hazelnuts are also used as a filling for the Turkish dessert Sütlü Nuriye, a lighter version of the dessert which substitutes milk for the simple syrup used in traditional baklava recipes. Şöbiyet is a variation that includes fresh cream in the filling, in addition to the traditional nuts.
The city of Gaziantep in southeast Turkey is famous for its pistachio baklava. The dessert was introduced to Gaziantep in 1871 by Çelebi Güllü, who had learned the recipe from a chef in Damascus. In 2008, the Turkish patent office registered a geographical indication for Antep Baklava, and in 2013, Antep Baklavası or Gaziantep Baklavası was registered as a Protected Geographical Indication by the European Commission. In many parts of Turkey, baklava is often topped with kaymak or ice cream.
Armenian paklava is spiced with cinnamon and cloves. Greek-style baklava is supposed to be made with 33 dough layers, referring to the years of Christ's life. In Azerbaijani cuisine Azərbaycan Paxlavası, made with walnuts or almonds, is usually cut in a rhombus shape and is traditionally served during the spring holiday of Nowruz. In the cuisine of Bosnia Ruzice is the name of the regional variant of baklava. In Crimean Tatar cuisine, the pakhlava is their variant of baklava. In Lebanese, Syrian, Jordanian, Iraqi, Egyptian, Israeli and Palestinian cuisines, baklava prepared from phyllo dough sheets, butter, walnuts and sugar syrup is cut into lozenge-shaped pieces. In the Maghreb, mainly Libyan, Tunisian, Algerian and Moroccan cuisines, the pastry was brought (along many others) by the Ottomans, and is prepared differently depending on the regions and cities.
In Iranian cuisine, a drier version of baklava is cooked and presented in smaller diamond-shaped cuts flavored with rose water. The cities of Yazd and Qazvin are famous for their baklava, which is widely distributed in Iran. Persian baklava uses a combination of chopped almonds and pistachios spiced with cardamom and a rose water-scented syrup and is lighter than other Middle Eastern versions.
We cannot be so sure why there is a section of recipes for bread and cakes (74-87), recipes in a Greek tradition and perhaps drawing on a Greek cookbook. Possibly Cato included them so that the owner and guests might be entertained when visiting the farm; possibly so that proper offerings might be made to the gods; more likely, I believe, so that profitable sales might be made at a neighbouring market.
Placenta is a Greek word (plakounta, accusative form of plakous 'cake'). '"The streams of the tawny bee, mixed with the curdled river of bleating she-goats, placed upon a flat receptacle of the virgin daughter of Demeter [honey, cheese, flour], delighting in ten thousand delicate toppings – or shall I simply say plakous?" "I'm for plakous"' (Antiphanes quoted by Athenaeus 449c).
Ariyan Arslani (born December 2, 1983), better known by the stage name Action Bronson, is an American rapper, writer, chef, and talk show host. In August 2012, he signed to Warner Bros. Records, but was later moved to Atlantic Records' imprint, Vice Records.
Arslani is best known for hosting his talk/variety show The Untitled Action Bronson Show, as well as his travel program Fuck, That's Delicious, on Viceland. His frequent collaborators Meyhem Lauren, The Alchemist, and formerly Big Body Bes are regulars on both of his television series. Mario Batali, Andrew Zimmern, Daniel Boulud, Rick Bayless, Grant Achatz, and others have been guests on his television series. In September 2017, Arslani published his first book, based on his travel show, a cookbook, also entitled Fuck, That's Delicious.
In addition to his television career, Arslani has also released several mixtapes, such as Rare Chandeliers (2012), with American hip-hop producer The Alchemist and Blue Chips 2 (2013) with longtime producer Party Supplies, before releasing his major label debut, an extended play (EP) titled Saaab Stories, with frequent collaborator Harry Fraud, in 2013. He released his major label debut album, Mr. Wonderful, on March 23, 2015.Azerbaijani pakhlava
Azerbaijani pakhlava (Azerbaijani: Azərbaycan Paxlavası), or simply Pakhlava, is an integral part of those sweets, which are made in Azerbaijan and Iranian Azerbaijan for Nowruz holiday, but it is not baked only for holidays. Yeasty pastry, hazelnuts or Circassian walnut, milled clove, cardamom, saffron are used for preparation of pakhlava. Milled nuts and sugar are used for stuffing.Baklava (band)
Baklava (Macedonian: Баклава) is a Macedonian ethno music acoustic band with a minimalistic musical concept. The songs are performed by female vocal and traditional folk instruments, especially string and percussion instruments tambura and bendir. Their key challenge is to create original music based on the aesthetic achievements of traditional Macedonian music. They also perform old traditional songs of ethnic Macedonians living in Aegean Macedonia. The band held several concerts in Republic of Macedonia, Balkans and Europe and anticipated in several festivals, including the renowned Skopje Jazz Festival, Sfinks Festival in Belgium and Balkan Music Square festival in Ohrid.Bulgarian cuisine
Bulgarian cuisine (Bulgarian: българска кухня, translit. bǎlgarska kuhnja) is a representative of the cuisine of Eastern Europe. It shares characteristics with other Balkan cuisines. Bulgarian cooking traditions are diverse because of geographical factors such as climatic conditions suitable for a variety of vegetables, herbs and fruit. Aside from the vast variety of local Bulgarian dishes, Bulgarian cuisine shares a number of dishes with Persian, Turkish, and Greek cuisine.
Bulgarian food often incorporates salads as appetizers and is also noted for the prominence of dairy products, wines and other alcoholic drinks such as rakia. The cuisine also features a variety of soups, such as the cold soup tarator, and pastries, such as the filo dough based banitsa, pita and the various types of börek.
Main courses are very typically water-based stews, either vegetarian or with lamb, goat meat, veal, chicken or pork. Deep-frying is not common, but grilling - especially different kinds of sausages - is very prominent. Pork is common, often mixed with veal or lamb, although fish and chicken are also widely used. While most cattle are bred for milk production rather than meat, veal is popular for grilling meat appetizers (meze) and in some main courses. As a substantial exporter of lamb, Bulgaria's own consumption is notable, especially in the spring.Similarly to other Balkan cultures the per capita consumption of yogurt (Bulgarian: кисело мляко, kiselo mlyako, lit. "sour milk") among Bulgarians is traditionally higher than the rest of Europe. The country is notable as the historical namesake for Lactobacillus bulgaricus, a microorganism chiefly responsible for the local variety of the dairy product.Bulgarian cuisine shares a number of dishes with the Middle Eastern Cuisine as well as a limited number with the Indian, particularly Gujarat cuisine. The culinary exchange with the East started as early as the 7th century, when traders started bringing herbs and spices to the First Bulgarian Empire from India and Persia via the Roman and later Byzantine empires. This is evident from the wide popularity of dishes like moussaka, gyuvetch, kyufte and baklava, which are common in Middle Eastern cuisine today. White brine cheese called "sirene" (сирене), similar to feta, is also a popular ingredient used in salads and a variety of pastries.
Holidays are often observed in conjunction with certain meals. On Christmas Eve, for instance, tradition requires vegetarian stuffed peppers and cabbage leaf sarmi, New Year's Eve usually involves cabbage dishes, Nikulden (Day of St. Nicholas, December 6) fish (usually carp), while Gergyovden (Day of St. George, May 6) is typically celebrated with roast lamb.Diana Abu-Jaber
Diana Abu-Jaber (Arabic: ديانا أبو جابر) is an American author and a professor at Portland State University. She often writes about issues of identity and culture.Filo
Filo or phyllo (Greek: φύλλο "leaf") is a very thin unleavened dough used for making pastries such as baklava and börek in Middle Eastern and Balkan cuisines. Filo-based pastries are made by layering many sheets of filo brushed with oil or butter; the pastry is then baked.Güllaç
Güllaç (pronounced [ɟylˈlatʃ]) is a Turkish dessert made with milk, pomegranate and a special kind of pastry. It is consumed especially during Ramadan.Güllaç is considered by some as being the origin of baklava. The similarities between the two desserts are many, such as the use of thin layers of dough and nuts in between. Güllaç dough is now prepared with corn starch and wheat flour, although originally it was made only with wheat starch. Güllaç contains walnuts between the layers that are put in milk.
Its first known mention is in a 14th-century book, Yinshan Zhenyao (飮膳正要), a food and health manual written by Hu Sihui (忽思慧), a physician to the Mongol court of the Yuan dynasty. The book documents primarily Mongol and Turkic dishes that exhibit a limited amount of Chinese influence.Güllaç was used for making Güllaç Lokması and Güllaç Baklavası, old Turkish desserts made during the Ottoman period in Turkey. The etymology of Güllaç is combination of two words Güllü and aş, meaning "food with roses". Although the dessert itself may contain rose leaves and rose syrup, the name refers to the shape of layers which look similar to leaves of roses.Kömbe
Kömbe (Turkish, Azerbaijani: Kömbə) is a kind of börek from Hatay, Turkey. It exists in both the cuisine of Turkey and that of Azerbaijan and is popular among both Turkish and Azerbaijani people.Lebanese cuisine
Lebanese cuisine is a Levantine style of cooking that includes an abundance of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, starches, fresh fish and seafood; animal fats are consumed sparingly. Poultry is eaten more often than red meat, and when red meat is eaten, it is usually lamb on the coast, and goat meat in the mountain regions. It also includes copious amounts of garlic and olive oil, often seasoned by lemon juice. Chickpeas and parsley are also staples of the Lebanese diet. Lebanese cooking derives its style from various influences, such as Turkish, Arab, and Mediterranean cuisines.
Well known savoury dishes include baba ghanouj, a dip made of char-grilled eggplant; falafel, small deep-fried patties made of highly spiced ground chickpeas, fava beans, or a combination of the two; and shawarma, a sandwich with marinated meat skewered and cooked on large rods. An important component of many Lebanese meals is hummus, a dip or spread made of blended chickpeas, sesame tahini, lemon juice, and garlic, typically eaten with pita bread. A well known dessert is baklava, which is made of layered filo pastry filled with nuts and steeped in date syrup or honey. Some desserts are specifically prepared on special occasions: the meghli, for instance, is served to celebrate a newborn baby in the family.
Arak (عرق), an anise-flavored liqueur, is the Lebanese national drink and usually served with a traditional convivial Lebanese meal. Another historic and traditional drink in Lebanon is wine (نبيذ).List of Turkish desserts
This is a list of desserts from Turkish cuisine.Montenegrin cuisine
Montenegrin cuisine is a result of Montenegro's geographic position and its long history.Sohan Asali
Sohan Asali (Persian: سوهان عسلی; Asal means honey) is a kind of Iranian cuisine pastry or candy. It is made of honey, sugar, saffron, almond or other nuts and cooking oil.Strudel
A strudel (, German: [ˈʃtʁuːdl̩]) is a type of layered pastry with a filling that is usually sweet. It became popular in the 18th century throughout the Habsburg Empire. Strudel is part of Austrian cuisine but also common in the other Central European cuisines.
The oldest strudel recipes (a Millirahmstrudel and a turnip strudel) are from 1696, in a handwritten cookbook at the Wienbibliothek im Rathaus (formerly Wiener Stadtbibliothek). The pastry descends from similar Near Eastern pastries (see baklava and Turkish cuisine).Sütlü Nuriye
Sütlü Nuriye is a Turkish dessert similar to baklava, but instead of syrup it contains milk, which gives a whitish look to the dessert. The name means Nuriye with milk.Tiropita
Tiropita or tyropita (τυρóπιτα 'cheese-pie') is a Greek layered pastry food in the börek family, made with layers of buttered phyllo and filled with a cheese-egg mixture.Turkish New Zealanders
Turkish New Zealanders or New Zealand Turks are Turkish people who are New Zealand citizens, residents of New Zealand, or people who are of Turkish descent. Most have come to New Zealand from Turkey and the island of Cyprus. In addition, there are also recent Turkmen arrivals (mostly refugees) from Iraq and Syria.
The Turkish people are one of the most visible immigrant groups from the Middle East. They operate their own businesses specialising in traditional Turkish food, such as kebab, baklava, and Turkish delight.Warbat
Warbat (Arabic: وربات) ِalso known as Shaabiyat (شعيبيات) is an Arabic sweet pastry (originally from Jordan) similar to baklava, consisting of layers thin phyllo dough filled with custard, though it is sometimes also filled with pistachios, walnuts, almonds, or sweet cheese.The dessert is topped with a sweet syrup made from sugar, water, and a hint of lemon brought to a boil and then left to cool and thicken.
When served with cream it is called warbat bi-qishteh or warbat be gishta. The treat is particularly associated with the Ramadan holiday.Yufka
For the pastry leaves used for börek and baklava, see filo.Yufka is a thin, round, and unleavened flat bread in Turkish cuisine. It is similar to lavash, and about 18 inches (40–50 cm) in diameter. It is usually made from wheat flour, water and salt. After kneading, the dough is allowed to rest for 30 min. Dough pieces (ca. 5-6 oz/150-200 g) are formed into balls and then rolled out into a circular sheet. The sheets of yufka dough are baked on a heated iron plate called a sac for about 2–3 minutes. During baking, the bread is turned over once to brown the other side. After baking, yufka bread has a low moisture content, and depending on how low the moisture is, a long shelf life. Before consumption, dry yufka bread is sprayed with warm water. The moistened bread is covered with a cotton cloth and is rested for 10 to 12 minutes before serving.
In Bulgarian and Macedonian cuisine (Bulgarian: юфка; Macedonian: јуфка, but usually plural, јуфки (jufki)), yufka refers to a special type of home-made pasta that usually looks flat or squared.
In Serbian cuisine, jufka is a very thinly stretched sheet of dough used for baking savory and sweet dishes.Şöbiyet
Şöbiyet is a Turkish dessert similar to baklava. It is stuffed with a cream, which is made from milk and semolina, and also nuts (walnut or pistachio). It has a soft but crusty outside and creamy inside.
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