Re: Origin History of Baklava???

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Posted by Maria on February 11, 2002 at 18:42:53:

In Reply to: Origin History of Baklava??? posted by Lynnaea on February 11, 2002 at 07:54:06:

Check out these sites for more about the origin of baklava: - 73k

Here is some good info. from the second site about the origin of baklava.
The history and origin of baklava, a popular Middle Eastern pastry that is made of many sheets of filo pastry laid flat in a pan and layered with sweet fillings, is commonly attributed to medieval Turkey. This is explained in The Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson (page 299):

"Although [filo] is known to Europeans and North Americans by a Greek name, the dough is clearly of Turkish origin. The medieval nomad Turks had an obsessive interest in making layered bread, possibly in emulation of the thick oven breads of city people. As early as the 11th century, a dictionary of Turkish dialects (Diwan Lughat al-Turk) recorded pleated/folded bread as one meaning for the word yuvgha, which is related to the word yufka which means a single sheet of filo in modern Turkish. The idea of making [filo] sheets paper thin is a later development.

The Azerbaijanis make the usual sort of baklava with 50 or so layers of filo, but they also make a...pastry called Baki pakhlavasi (Baku-style baklava) using ordinary noodle paste instead of filo...This may represent the earliest form of baklava, resulting form the Turkish nomads adapting their concept of layered bread--developed in the absence of ovens...If this is so, baklava actually pre-dated filo, and the paper-thin pastry we know today was probably an innovation of the Ottoman sultan's kitchens at Topkapi palace in Istanbul. There is an established connection between the Topkapi kitchens and baklava; on the 15th of Ramadan every year, the Janissary troops stationed in Istanbul used to march to the palace, where every regiment was presented with two trays of baklava. They would...march back to their barracks in what was known as the Baklava Procession."

If you want to learn more about the history of food during the Ottoman Empire, check out Ottoman Culinary Culture: It's Effect Upon Contemporary Cuisine by Terrie Wright Chrones, MA (Oregon State University)

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