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Baklava
Baklava - Turkish special, 80-ply.JPEG
Baklava is prepared on large trays and cut into a variety of shapes
Origin
Place of origin Turkey
Dish details
Course served Dessert
Serving temperature Cold, room temperature or re-warmed
Main ingredient(s) Phyllo dough, nuts, sweetening
Variations Multiple

Baklava is a rich, sweet pastry made of layers of phyllo dough filled with chopped nuts and sweetened with syrup or honey. It is characteristic of the cuisines of the former Ottoman Empire and much of central and southwest Asia.

Contents

History

The history of baklava is not well-documented. It has been claimed by many ethnic groups, but there is strong evidence that it is of Central Asian Turkic origin, with its current form being developed in the imperial kitchens of the Topkapı Palace.[1]

Many Ottoman sweets are similar to Byzantine sweets, using dough, sesame, wheat, nuts and fruits, and some were similar to the Ottoman börek, halva, and so on. Indeed, Vryonis identifies the ancient Greek gastris, kopte, kopton, or koptoplakous, mentioned in the Deipnosophistae, as baklava, and calls it a "Byzantine favorite".[2]

However, Perry argues that though gastris contained a filling of nuts and honey, it did not include any dough; instead, it involved a honey and ground sesame mixture similar to modern pasteli or halva.[3]

Perry then assembles evidence to show that layered breads were created by Turkic peoples in Central Asia, and argues that the "missing link" between the Central Asian folded or layered breads (which did not include nuts) and modern phyllo-based pastries like baklava is the Azerbaijani dish Bakı pakhlavası, which involves layers of dough and nuts. The traditional Uzbek puskal or yupka and Tatar yoka, sweet and salty savories (boreks) prepared with 10-12 layers of dough, are other early examples of layered dough style in Turkic regions.[4]

The thin phyllo dough as used today was probably developed in the kitchens of the Topkapı Palace. Indeed, the sultan presented trays of baklava to the Janissaries every 15th of the month of Ramadan in a ceremonial procession called the Baklava Alayı.[5]

Other claims about baklava's origins include: that it dates back to ancient Mesopotamia, and was mentioned in a Mesopotamian cookbook on walnut dishes; that al-Baghdadi describes it in his 13th-century cookbook; that it was a popular Byzantine dessert.[6][7] But Claudia Roden[8] and Andrew Dalby[9] find no evidence for it in Arab, Greek, or Byzantine sources before the Ottoman period.

One of the oldest known recipes for a sort of proto-baklava is found in a Chinese cookbook written in 1330 under the Yuan (Mongol) dynasty under the name güllach.[10] "Güllaç" is found in Turkish cuisine. Layers of phyllo dough are put one by one in warmed up milk with sugar. It is served with walnut and fresh pomegranate and generally eaten during Ramadan.

A typical baklava, sweetened with syrup.
In Turkey, baklava is typically served with whipped cream and pistachios.

Local versions

In Turkey, Gaziantep is famous for its baklava and regarded there as its native city,[11] though it only appears to have been introduced to Gaziantep from Damascus in 1871.[12] In 2008, the Turkish patent office registered a geographical indication certificate for Antep Baklava.[13]

In Bosnia-Herzegovina baklava is generally rich in nuts and filling and is only eaten on special occasions, mostly during in the holy months of Ramadan and Eid.

In Iran, a drier version of baklava is cooked and presented in smaller diamond-shaped cuts flavored with rose water.

In Afghanistan and Cyprus, baklava is prepared into triangle-shaped pieces and is lightly covered in crushed pistachio nuts.

Etymology

The word baklava entered English from Turkish;[14][15]the Arabic name is doubtless a borrowing from Turkish,[4] though a folk etymology, unsupported by Wehr's dictionary connects it to Arabic بقلة /baqlah/ 'bean'. 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;[10] baγla- itself in Mongolian is a Turkic loanword. [16] The name baklava is used in many languages with minor phonetic and spelling variations.

Notes

  1. ^ Perry 1994, 87
  2. ^ Speros Vryonis The Decline of Medieval Hellenism in Asia Minor, 1971, p. 482
  3. ^ Charles Perry, "The Taste for Layered Bread among the Nomadic Turks and the Central Asian Origins of Baklava", in A Taste of Thyme: Culinary Cultures of the Middle East (ed. Sami Zubaida, Richard Tapper), 1994. ISBN 1-86064-603-4.
  4. ^ a b Akın and Lambraki, Turkish and Greek Cuisine/Türk ve Yunan Mutfağı p. 248-249, ISBN 9754584842
  5. ^ Syed Tanvir Wasti, "The Ottoman Ceremony of the Royal Purse", Middle Eastern Studies 41:2:193–200 (March 2005)
  6. ^ John Ash, A Byzantine Journey, page 223
  7. ^ Marcus Rautman, Daily Life in the Byzantine Empire, page 96
  8. ^ New Book of Middle Eastern Food, 2000, ISBN 0-375-40506-2
  9. ^ Siren Feasts: A History of Food and Gastronomy in Greece, 1997, ISBN 0-415-15657-2
  10. ^ a b Paul D. Buell, "Mongol Empire and Turkicization: The Evidence of Food and Foodways", p. 200ff, in Amitai-Preiss, 1999.
  11. ^ Guide Martin: Gaziantep
  12. ^ Esther Brunner, "A sweet journey: Güllüoğlu baklava" Turkish Daily News, June 14, 2008.full text
  13. ^ Bsanna News, February 21, 2008
  14. ^ Merriam-Webster Online, s.v. Baklava
  15. ^ Dictionary.com Unabridged, s.v. Baklava
  16. ^ Sukhbaatar, O. (1997) (in Mongolian) (PDF). A Dictionary of Foreign Words in Mongolian. Ulaanbaatar. pp. 25. http://altaica.narod.ru/LIBRARY/e_sukheb.htm. Retrieved 2008-10-08. 

References

  • Reuven Amitai-Preiss and David O. Morgan, eds., The Mongol Empire and Its Legacy Brill, 1999. ISBN 90-04-11946-9.
  • Paul D. Buell, "Mongol Empire and Turkicization: The Evidence of Food and Foodways", p. 200ff, in Amitai-Preiss, 1999.
  • Christian, David. Review of Amitai-Preiss, 1999, in Journal of World History 12:2:476 (2001).
  • Perry, Charles. "The Taste for Layered Bread among the Nomadic Turks and the Central Asian Origins of Baklava", in A Taste of Thyme: Culinary Cultures of the Middle East (ed. Sami Zubaida, Richard Tapper), 1994. ISBN 1-86064-603-4.
  • Roden Claudia, "A New Book of Middle Eastern Food" ISBN 01-404658-8
  • Vryonis, Speros, The Decline of Medieval Hellenism in Asia Minor, 1971. Quoted in Perry (1994).
  • Wasti, Syed Tanvir, "The Ottoman Ceremony of the Royal Purse", Middle Eastern Studies 41:2:193–200 (March 2005)

External Links


Simple English

Baklava is a dessert from Turkish kitchen. The city of Gaziantep is well-known because of its Baklava deserts.Turkish ladies make baklava for serving in private days such as bayrams (religional days). However, Baklava could be found in lots of restaurant and desert shops in Turkey









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