Hardly any other pastry compared to Baklava is a better representative of Turkish cuisine. Maybe Sütlaç!
However, this delicious dessert hits the stomach with a lot of calories – accordingly, this is not a kind of food that you should treat yourself to regularly.
But on the other hand, baklava is so delicious that you are guaranteed to find it hard to resist the temptation. And of course, we can relate to that.
Just the thought of a piece on your tongue is a pure explosion of flavour that makes our mouths water. Tasting baklava is about having a piece of heaven in your mouth.
But what is baklava all about? Where does this outrageously sweet treat come from? Find out this and more in this blog post about the famous sweet from Turkey.
What is Baklava?
Baklava is a pastry made of either puff pastry or filo dough. Popular throughout the former Ottoman Empire, the dessert is then dipped in either honey or sugar syrup. Chopped pistachios, hazelnuts, almonds or walnuts are used for the filling. This varies from region to region.
Where Does Baklava Come From?
Where exactly the dessert comes from is not exactly known today. There is evidence that baklava was first made in either modern-day Syria or Armenia. In the Ottoman Empire, the recipe would be adopted, and today it is mainly Turkey that is known as the home of baklava.
Where Can You Eat Baklava Today?
It’s not just in Turkey that you can try it in many cultures. Throughout the Ottoman Empire, this pastry was popular. For this reason, you will have the opportunity to eat baklava in the other countries that were part of the empire until its collapse.
Accordingly, in countries such as Greece, Bulgaria and the Balkans, you will find numerous bakeries and cafés offering baklava. However, there are differences in preparation between countries.
While many parts of Turkey use mainly pistachios, other cultures use walnuts instead. In some regions of Turkey, people prefer hazelnuts to pistachios when making this outrageously delicious dessert.
If you want to try some really good baklava outside of Turkey, you should definitely visit the Balkans. For example, why not walk around the Old Bazaar of Skopje, North Macedonia’s capital?
There you will surely find a lot of delicious pastries, not only this well-known Turkish dessert. But of course, there you should more focus on the super delicious Macedonian food.
Where to Eat the Best Baklava in Turkey?
You can get this delicious dessert all over Turkey. But one region, in particular, stands out and is highly prized by connoisseurs of this popular dessert. This is Gaziantep, a city in southeast Anatolia.
Anyone who has ever been to this city will tell you that you can taste the most delicious one in all of Turkey. In the day, the tasty pieces of heaven to eat here again play in a whole other league.
Perhaps it’s because the best pistachios also grow in the region around Gaziantep. This alone can make a significant difference in the outcome. But one thing is clear: once you’ve tried a few pieces of baklava in Gaziantep, you’ll understand what we mean.
Baklava from Gaziantep even has a geographically protected designation of origin in the EU. Only if the dessert really comes from this province, it may bear the name “Gaziantep Baklavası”.
How to Make Baklava?
Foremost, you should know that today there is no universal recipe. So many differences exist from region to region that it is almost impossible to give precise instructions on how to prepare baklava.
What is always the same, however, is the basic method of preparation. If you want an exact recipe for baklava, check out BBC Good Food!
First, make a mixture of chopped nuts, sugar and spices. Coat the puff pastry with melted butter. Stack the layers on top of each other, with a layer of the nut mixture in between each layer of puff pastry.
Once you’re done, cut the whole thing into squares. Place it in the oven for about 30 to 45 minutes. Then pour warm, boiled sugar water or honey over them.
Turks especially like to drink black mocha with baklava. This is especially because its bitter taste is the perfect contrast to the sweetness of baklava. Ice cream or kajmak is also a popular side dish for the popular Turkish dessert in Turkey.
How Many Calories Does Baklava Have?
We already mentioned it at the beginning of this article – baklava is a real calorie bomb. However, you can still indulge in a few pieces occasionally. After all, you don’t give up chocolate completely just because too much of it makes you fat.
The same goes for baklava. Regularly and in masses it will do your figure guaranteed not good, but occasionally to nibble times does not harm.
428 kilocalories add to your body if you eat 100-grams. So one piece of 78 grams gives you 334 kilocalories. Only 7 pieces of it, and you have already reached the recommended 2,000 kilocalories per day.
And you can probably already imagine how quickly you have so many pieces of baklava in your belly. In this post from CalorieKing, you can also find the detailed nutritional value of baklava.
Have you ever tried baklava? Then you will definitely agree with us and think that this delicious dessert is undoubtedly worth every single calorie. The taste, the texture, everything makes enjoying this dessert from the former Ottoman Empire an indescribable experience.
So, if you planned to become one of our guests in Turkey for your next holiday, you should definitely make it a point to try a few pieces of the pastry with cult status.