Baklava is a pastry made from fine layers of dough, chopped nuts and sweetened with syrup or honey. Although the history of baklava is not well-documented, it is believed to have originated in the Anatolian Region of Turkey. The historic version of baklava dates back to the 8th century BC. Assyrians from the fertile Mesopotamia Plains baked thin layers of dough with nuts and honey. This early version of baklava is believed to have been adopted by Greek merchants who brought it to Athens. In Athens, bakers mastered the method for rolling pastry dough into sheets thin as a leaf. In Greek, fillo (phyllo) actually means “leaf.” By the 3rd century BC, baklava was served by Greek aristocracy to celebrate special occasions. The modern version known today was likely developed in the royal kitchens of Topkapı Palace. After the Ottoman invasion of Constantinople (now known as Istanbul) in 1453, regional baklava recipes made their way to Topkapı Palace. Chefs in the royal kitchen refined techniques and fused flavors to create the modern varieties of baklava found today.
Indulge in more Delicious Turkish Baked Goods
Bread | Ekmek
Bread, as we know it, would not exist without flour. Genetic evidence indicates that all modern wheat originated from Turkey’s Mount Karadağ region where it was domesticated around 12,000 years ago.
Cookies | Kurabiye
There are countless varieties of kurabiye available including sweet and savory options. Cookies are believed to have originated in Persia where a drop of batter was used to determine oven temperature.
Borek | Börek
Borek is a family of baked and filled pastries with Anatolian origins. Borek is made by layering phyllo or yulfka with fillings of meat, cheese, spinach, or potato.
Flatbread | Pide
Turkish pide is a flatbread traditionally baked in clay or stone oven. A boat shaped pide served with various toppings (including cheese, vegetables and meat) is frequently referred to as Turkish Pizza.
Turkish Bagel | Simit
Simit is ring-shaped sweet bread topped with sesame seeds. It is made by dipping a ring of dough into pekmez (grape molasses) and sprinkling generously with sesame seeds before baking.
Donuts | Tulumba
Tulumba a popular dessert made from dough that is piped through an icing bag and then deep-fried, While hot, the fried dough is covered with a sweet syrup.
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