Posted by richard rubinstein on July 11, 2000 at 14:18:07:
In Reply to: Re: bakalva posted by Vasili Kirikos on February 26, 2000 at 00:01:03:
: : HELP! Need some background info on baklava desperately!
: Ok! First, since it must be obvious from my e-mail address, I must tell you that I am a scientist. I receltly completed a two year program in ophthalmology at Gerogetown University in Washington, DC. So, it should be obvious to you that I am fairly good with books and research.
: May I suggest that you read "The Complete Greek Cookbook" by Theresa Karas Yianilos [Avenel Books (a division of Crown Publishers, Inc. 419 Park Ave South, New York, NY 10016) ISBN 0-517-128780; also Library of Congress Cat. Card No. 74-79256] . A very good historical background is given for many of the Greek recipies and their origin. According to Yianilos, as well as my own previous studies, it happens that Baklava is of Byzantine origin (Yianilos, page 152)
: I should further expalin that my father owned a restaurant; and, I worked most of my formative years in my Dad's business. Moreover, I worked in a few Greek restaurants as a Greek chef while in college to make extra money.
: Bakalava predates the Turks; though the Turks like to tell everyone that "baklava is their national dish"; the fact remains that they did not invent Baklava.
: You see, while the Turks were still in Mongolia (that is where they origianted before they come down in hordes, about seven hundered years ago to where they are now located) the courts of Byzantium in Constatinnople were serving Bakalava many, many years before their arrival. It is believed that it was served during Constantine's reign. Remember, Constatine the Great (a Roman general) founded the Byzantine empire back in the year 325; so this was over one thousand three hundered years ago. Many, many years before the Turkish Mogolian murdering, barbarian hordes came to the area (I can get you the exact date if you want it).
: Do you also want to know how to make Baklava? I'll be more than happy to give you my recipe.
: Vasili Kirikos
Yes, I would like your comments on making baklava.
l. I like pistachio baklava. Myrecipe calls for fresh, bright green , blanched nuts. I don't think I can source a fresh nut anywhere except at Fall harvest. So, maybe there is a source for fresh frozen. Or maybe none of this matters and my recipe is full of it, and I would be happy with toasted salted, or toasted with the salt removed.
2. The syrup. I don't know how long to boil this. I guess I am trying to bring it to some particular temperature, so that it is not just sugar water, but my recipes give me boiling times only: 5 or 15 or 20 minutes. I think that 20 is too long for a mixture of l cup sugar and l cup water, and when I used 15 I thot it was too thick. What do you think.
3. The recipes all differ in the number of layers of fillo dough. Have you any direction here?
thanks in advance
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