this box of delightful sweets contains 'baklava', a sweet pastry dessert of the middle east. mr. khairul bought a few boxes during his recent trip to syria.
now, a well-made baklava should taste sweet, of course but not too sweet! i've tasted the ones bought in dubai hypermart and they were too super-sweet for my tastebuds!
in the olden days, baklava was baked only on special occasions and was considered a food for the rich until mid-19th century!
this particular box contained assorted baklava :
baklava is basically made of paper-thin layers of pastry called 'fillo dough', with chopped nuts in between, and sweetened with sugar syrup or honey. the nuts could be almond or cashew - but this one has pistachio!
the fillo dough gives baklava a crispy taste, with flaky texture. it's slightly chewy, slightly crunchy - with a rich pistachio taste.
there are a few types of baklava.
my favorite is the 'bird nest baklava' - well, the one that looks like a bird's nest! it has a thin, shredded fillo dough made to look like a nest, with little pistachio nuts placed in the middle like eggs. really cute, and really tasty. also, because it's the least chewy!
my other favorite is the lady's finger baklava - the one that looks like our popiah.
other type includes 'the pistachio ballourieh' - shredded fillo with a weird bitter taste that i didn't like. it's the one next to the bird's nest baklava. tak best sangat because it's also the most chewy, and has more pistachio - which breaks my perfect-nut-pastry-ratio rule!
the one below is 'the burma baklava' - pistachio wrapped in shredded fillo dough. this one taste slightly like the bird's nest baklava but more chewy.
to sum up - i'm not much of a nut fan, so baklava is just *okay* for me.
even when it comes to chocolates, i prefer those wafer-based ones like time-out or kinder bueno. since one of baklava's prime ingredients is pistachio, i'm not too crazy about it - nevertheless, it's a delicious, sweet indulgent tidbits to enjoy once in awhile.
being little and bite-sized sure do help!
* * *
oh, also - it's interesting to note that the two major ingredients of baklava - the pistachio and honey - were believed to be aphrodisiacs.