burla_xatun (burla_xatun) wrote,

Baklava / Paxlava

The history of baklava is not well-documented. It has been claimed by many ethnic groups, but there is strong evidence that it is of Central Asian Turkic origin, with its current form being developed in the imperial kitchens of the Topkapı Palace.[1]


Many Ottoman sweets are similar to Byzantine sweets, using dough, sesame, wheat, nuts and fruits, and some were similar to the Ottoman börek, halva, and so on. Indeed, Vryonis identifies the ancient Greek gastris, kopte, kopton, or koptoplakous, mentioned in the Deipnosophistae, as baklava, and calls it a "Byzantine favorite".[2]

However, Perry argues that though gastris contained a filling of nuts and honey, it did not include any dough; instead, it involved a honey and ground sesame mixture similar to modern pasteli or halva.[3]

Perry then assembles evidence to show that layered breads were created by Turkic peoples in Central Asia, and argues that the "missing link" between the Central Asian folded or layered breads (which did not include nuts) and modern phyllo-based pastries like baklava is the Azerbaijani dish Bakı pakhlavası, which involves layers of dough and nuts. The traditional Uzbek puskal or yupka and Tatar yoka, sweet and salty savories (boreks) prepared with 10-12 layers of dough, are other early examples of layered dough style in Turkic regions.[4]

The thin phyllo dough as used today was probably developed in the kitchens of the Topkapı Palace. Indeed, the sultan presented trays of baklava to the Janissaries every 15th of the month of Ramadan in a ceremonial procession called the Baklava Alayı.[5]

Other claims about baklava's origins include: that it dates back to ancient Mesopotamia, and was mentioned in a Mesopotamian cookbook on walnut dishes; that al-Baghdadi describes it in his 13th-century cookbook; that it was a popular Byzantine dessert.[6][7] But Claudia Roden[8] and Andrew Dalby[9] find no evidence for it in Arab, Greek, or Byzantine sources before the Ottoman period.

One of the oldest known recipes for a sort of proto-baklava is found in a Chinese cookbook written in 1330 under the Yuan (Mongol) dynasty under the name güllach.[10] "Güllaç" is found in Turkish cuisine. Layers of phyllo dough are put one by one in warmed up milk with sugar. It is served with walnut and fresh pomegranate and generally eaten during Ramadan.

The word baklava entered English from Turkish;[14][15]the Arabic name is doubtless a borrowing from Turkish,[4] though a folk etymology, unsupported by Wehr's dictionary connects it to Arabic بقلة /baqlah/ 'bean'. Buell argues that the word "baklava" may come from the Mongolian root baγla- 'to tie, wrap up, pile up' composed with the Turkic verbal ending -v;[10] baγla- itself in Mongolian is a Turkic loanword. [16] The name baklava is used in many languages with minor phonetic and spelling variations.

  1. ^ Perry 1994, 87
  2. ^ Speros Vryonis The Decline of Medieval Hellenism in Asia Minor, 1971, p. 482
  3. ^ Charles Perry, "The Taste for Layered Bread among the Nomadic Turks and the Central Asian Origins of Baklava", in A Taste of Thyme: Culinary Cultures of the Middle East (ed. Sami Zubaida, Richard Tapper), 1994. ISBN 1-86064-603-4.
  4. ^ a b Akın and Lambraki, Turkish and Greek Cuisine/Türk ve Yunan Mutfağı p. 248-249, ISBN 9754584842
  5. ^ Syed Tanvir Wasti, "The Ottoman Ceremony of the Royal Purse", Middle Eastern Studies 41:2:193–200 (March 2005)
  6. ^ John Ash, A Byzantine Journey, page 223
  7. ^ Marcus Rautman, Daily Life in the Byzantine Empire, page 96
  8. ^ New Book of Middle Eastern Food, 2000, ISBN 0-375-40506-2
  9. ^ Siren Feasts: A History of Food and Gastronomy in Greece, 1997, ISBN 0-415-15657-2
  10. ^ a b Paul D. Buell, "Mongol Empire and Turkicization: The Evidence of Food and Foodways", p. 200ff, in Amitai-Preiss, 1999.
  11. ^ Guide Martin: Gaziantep
  12. ^ Esther Brunner, "A sweet journey: Güllüoğlu baklava" Turkish Daily News, June 14, 2008.full text
  13. ^ Bsanna News, February 21, 2008
  14. ^ Merriam-Webster Online, s.v. Baklava
  15. ^ Dictionary.com Unabridged, s.v. Baklava
  16. ^ Sukhbaatar, O. (1997) (in Mongolian) (PDF). A Dictionary of Foreign Words in Mongolian. Ulaanbaatar. pp. 25. http://altaica.narod.ru/LIBRARY/e_sukheb.htm. Retrieved 2008-10-08.


P.S. Alan Davidson,Tom Jaine "The Oxford companion to food":

Although known to Europeans and North Americans by 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 11 century, a dictionary of Turkish dialects (Diwan Lughat at-Turk) recorded 'pleated/folded bread' as one meaning for the word yufgha, which is related to the word (yufka), which means a single sheet of filo in modern Turkish.

This love of layering continues among the Turks of Central Asia. To the Tatars, yoka means 10 or 12 sheets of very thin (although not paper-thin) dough which have been fried, buttered and staked up. Wedges are cut out of it, pie-fashion, and served with tea. The Uzbek yupqa is made by frying a thin sheet of dough on both sides in the bottom of a pot; sprinkling fried ground meat and onions in it; covering the filling with a raw sheet of dough; turning this 'sandwich' over to fry the raw side; and then repeating the process to build up a sort of cake 10-12 layers thick.

The idea of making the sheet 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 strange, archaic pastry called Baki pakhlavasi (Baku-style baklava) using ordinary noodle paste instead of filo. It consists of eight layers of dough separated by seven layers of sweetened ground nuts. This may represent the earliest form of baklava, resulting from Turkish nomads adapting their concept of layering bread developed in the absence of ovens to the use of the oven and combining it with the usual Persian pastry filling of nuts.

If this is so, baklava actually pre-dated filo, and the paper-thin pastry we know today was an innovation of the Ottoman sultan's kitchen at Topkapi palace in Istanbul. There is an established connection betweens 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 sling the trays with sheets of cloth from a pole and march back to their barracks carrying the baklava in what was known as the Baklava Procession (baklava alayi).

Before the First World War, it was the custom for the great houses of Istanbul ot keep two filo-makers on staff: one to make the filo for baklava, the other to make a stronger sort of filo for börek. Nowadays filo, and its European counterparts such as Strudelteig, are usually store-bought.

Given all the effort expended to make this dough capable of being baked into ethereally crisp layers, it seems odd that in Turkey filo is sometimes cooked with milk into a sort of pudding, güllaç. But güllac is much admired for its delicacy. In Egypt, filo is even known as 'agin güllash' (güllaç dough), rather than as baklava dough.


Из книги "Этимологический словарь тюркских языков. Общетюркские и межтюркские основы на буквы «Л», «М», «Н», «П», «С» Издательство: М.: Восточная литература РАН, 446 страниц; 2003 г." под руководством Э.В.Севортяна :


ЛАВАШ. 1) Хлеб из тонко раскатанного теста, вид лепёшки.
2) плоские круглые пирожки с изюмом, пастилой или вареньем, испечённые в масле
3) слоенные булочки
4) тонкое пирожное из пшеницы
5) повидло из кислых плодов, высушенное лепёшками.

ЛАВАША 1) кислая пастила, засушенное тонкими пластами повидло из кислых фруктов
2) тонкий, плоский кусок серебра (осман.)

Рэсэнен указывает, что в ТТ VII 14 отмечено парное слово "лив-и аши" ь(его) жертвенная пищаь. О возможности сближения парного слова "лив аш" с "лаваш" первым высказался Р.Арат при издании указанного текста. Он предположил, что "лив" должен быть синонимом к "аш" (жертвенная пища) (см. ТТ VII 67). Сочетание "лив аш" отмечено в "Кутадгу-Билиг": "лив аш терги" = "накрытый стол, стол, уставленный угощениями" (Древне-Тюркский словарь 333). Дж.Клосон видит здесь заимствование из "ли"(зерно) <-- ср.кит "liip", и в сочетании с "аш" оно выступает как определитель вида (жертвенной) пищи - 'приготовленная из злаков (рис, пшеница и т.п.)' (Cl.763). В принципе, указанная возможность происхождения слова из Восточного Туркестана - учитывая первые отражения в древне-уйгурских текстах и "Кутадгу-Билиг" - весьма вероятна. Между тем, китайское слово, обозначающее собственно отдельное зерно, вряд ли может быть полноценным определением, а "лив аш" ведёт себя как типичное парное слово.

Слово "лаваш" как заимствование из тюркских, отмечаемое словарями, во многие кавказские языки, напр., осет. "lawyz/lauz/lawsi" - плоская тонкая лепёшка, оладья (Абаев ИИ, 15, 49). А в русский язык слово вошло как "лаваш", "леваш", "леваха".

Tags: cuisine, culture, history, tarix

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