National Baklava Day: The History of Baklava

Baklava is the most common dessert for many Greek families. Baklava was first reported in Constantinople when Greek merchants were made aware of it. The modern-day baklava, and the variety of ways that it is consumed, has gone through numerous changes. In celebration of National Baklava Day, we will dive into the influence that various cultures have had on baklava over the years. The Greeks’ most notable contribution to baklava was the creation of a dough technique as thin as a leaf. The typical method was a more rough and bread-like dough used in other regions. The name “Phyllo”, which is the name of the dough used for baklava, was coined by Greeks and means “leaf” in Greek, taken straight from the texture itself.

 

The dessert and delicacy were perfected during the Ottoman Empire after being brought from Constantinople. The kitchens throughout the Ottoman palace became a culinary hotspot for baklava recipes, serving up the greatest renditions of Baklava to the upper-class members of society. Baklava grew from a simple pastry into a dessert to please the dignitaries. Over time, it grew into a dessert that people would bake for special occasions and family gatherings. The times have changed so much that now you can go to your local bakery and stumble upon pre-packaged baklava. 

 

Baklava Influences From Around The World

It’s undeniable that baklava was impacted by the different migration patterns in the Middle East. The region has seen many of the world’s oldest civilizations come and go, with each of them modifying the baklava to match their personal and cultural preferences. More influences to the classic baklava recipe include the Armenian influence – when they integrated cinnamon and cloves into their baklava. 

 

More influences include the Arab civilizations introducing the rose-water and orange blossom water to baklava recipes. Cooks and chefs who worked in the Ottoman palaces contributed greatly to the refinement of pastry-making. Due to the popularity of baklava among cooks and pastry chefs, pastry desserts became more accessible to the middle and lower classes towards the end of the 19th century. 

 

Other Popular Greek Desserts

One of the most common desserts besides baklava is delicious and moist Greek donuts. This delicacy comes in a variety of different flavors. Try our classic, with honey, walnuts, and cinnamon, or our Bougatsa with custard creme, phyllo dough, and powdered. We also serve a custard filled with honey and pistachio, or our personal favorite Yaya’s, with oreo cookies and powdered sugar. Visit us today to learn more!

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