This is going to cover the Greek version of baklava, but first I must start in the 8th century B.C. of the Assyrian empire. Where baklava is said to have first been made from layers of dough with nuts, and honey poured over it, and then baked.
Originally baklava was only considered a luxury for the rich, and as such was only baked on special occasions until the mid-19th century.
The Assyrian land was located in north Mesopotamia (BetBasoo 2013), and cover parts of what we now call Syria, Iraq, Turkey, and Iran. The Assyrian empire eventually covered an area from Egypt to Anatolia and from Cyprus to Caspian. The Assyrian empire fell in 610 B.C.E. to the Babylonians, and the Medes.
Babylon would eventually fall to Alexander the Great. This spread of the Grecian empire from Greece to India brought many different dishes back to Greece. One of these dishes was baklava.
The main improvement the Greeks made to this wonderful dish was to create a way to roll the dough as thin as a leaf (N.A. n.d.). The Assyrians dough recipe for baklava was of a more rough bread type texture. The Greeks minted the term “Phyllo” meaning leaf. Soon the smell of baklava filled the homes of the wealthy, as baklava was being baked for all types of special occasions.
As the recipe for baklava spread throughout different cultures they started to add their own touches. The Armenians where located right on the ancient spice and silk trade route, and are given credit for being the first to add cinnamon, and cloves into the recipe. The Arabs are said to have incorporated rose water, and cardamom. Still only the rich from the Persian Empire to the Roman Elite to even the Byzantine empires fall in 1453 A.D. could afford such a wonderful...
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...lic of the Greek culture and national identity. These include the Souvlaki, thick coffee, moussaka, baklava, and resonated wine. Tavernas have been a social meeting place for the men. In the past three decades eating out has grown in popularity, increasing the number of restaurants, and the variety of restaurants to choose from.
The Greeks make baklava with 33 layers of phyllo dough to represents the life of Christ. It is also made some people with forty sheets of phyllo dough to represent the forty days of lent.
BetBasoo, P. (2013) Brief History of Assyrians Retrieved Aug. 05, 2014 from http://www.aina.org/brief.html
N.A. (n.d.) The History of Baklava Retrieved Aug. 05, 2014 from http://www.kitchenproject.com/history/Baklava.htm
Sutton, S.B. (n.d.) Greece Retrieved Aug. 05, 2014 from http://www.everyculture.com/Ge-It/Greece.html