Ramadan is that time of the year when you want to get closer to Allah. However, after cleansing your body and soul through religious piety, you want to indulge yourself after the mandatory fast. That’s where baklavas come in.
Baklava treats are a Mediterranean tradition associated with the Ramadan and Eid Al Fitr celebrations. With many countries and cultures in the area, this dessert of Turkish origin comes in various varieties.
Baklava pastry is enjoyed all over the world as a quick snack after the iftar.
Many outlets sell baklavas in the US, so if you don’t fancy baking these Turkish delights at home, you can go shopping for them instead.
But buying the best baklavas to complement your food will take some effort. There are some things you have to look out for when shopping for these delicious treats.
Let’s see what they are so that we can purchase the best baklava that will make our Eid Al Fitr celebrations truly memorable and worth it.
What Makes the Best Baklava?
Baklava pastry ranges from the very traditional Mediterranean stand-alone pastry to the modern-day gourmet sweets infused with modern ingredients like chocolate. You can get these delicious treats from Layla's Delicacies.
But there are similarities among all the varieties that make them authentic baklavas. Here are some factors to consider when shopping for your baklava.
Authentic baklava has nuts as its base. This mix got strengthened during the periods of Greek and Turkish influences in the Mediterranean, shaping the baklava we know today.
These nuts include pistachios, walnuts, hazelnuts, pinenuts, and almonds. They have a high level of unsaturated fats, helping to control cholesterol.
They are also a source of folic acid, copper, magnesium, and vitamin E. Walnuts also contain omega-3 fatty acids, while pistachios have a high amount of antioxidants. These nuts make baklava a healthy, low-calorie treat and a great snacking alternative.
Most baklava treats use nuts as their main filling, making up 70% of this Middle Eastern dessert. There are also many baklava treats based on them. A good example is the Baklava Pistachio, a firm favorite of many who love this pistachio treat.
“BAKLAVA PISTACHIO! HEAVENLY DELICIOUS, THERE’S NO WORD TO DESCRIBE HOW GOOD THESE ARE, VERY SPECIAL” - Luis Torres, Brooklyn, New York, US.
Pistachio nuts are also garnishments in many baklava treats. Pistachio and walnut are the most popular nuts used in baklava making. However, the nuts used in the baklava depend on cultural preferences.
With the nuts in baklava, you should be able to satisfy your craving for a healthy and delicious treat during Ramadan.
One of the Greek contributions to the baklava treat was the development of the phyllo pastry. They built on the early baklava mixtures from the Assyrians by making the dough very thin like a leaf. They named their innovation phyllo, which is Greek for leaf.
The phyllo dough gives the baklava its unique look and taste among pastry products. It is made from unleavened flour and stretched into paper-thin layers that are light and delicate. Some are so thin that they become transparent after being made.
Baklava preparations require stacking the phyllo dough in layers. The bakers apply butter or vegetable oils on each dough layer before filling them with the nut fillings and baking them.
Phyllo pastry has low calories and doesn't have the saturated and trans fat associated with many snacks. This quality makes the baklava dessert a quick way to have a healthy bite while observing Ramadan and celebrating Eid al-Fitr, like the respondent below.
“Great Taste! Wonderful pastries, delicious and fresh. I received just on time. I will give five stars. Thanks for the great service” - Kaouther Z., Enzino, US.
Any gourmet baklava without this phyllo pastry isn’t the real thing, so look out for this when shopping for your treats.
Many baklava gourmet treats have signature aromas that define them. These aromas come from the spices infused into the dessert during their making.
The Ottoman empire ruled by the Turkish had many cultures in the middle east bringing their spices into their baklava preparation. This variety has contributed to the dessert’s global appeal since the spices provide the finishing touch to its allure.
The main traditional baklava spices include cinnamon, cardamom, orange flower water, and rosewater. These spices were first used by Turkish baklava shops to sell their unique taste and aroma. They were also regarded as aphrodisiacs by many people in the region.
But there is much experimentation going on with additives to baklava treats nowadays. Many cultures are infusing their unique spices into this dessert. This change has brought about more baklava varieties to the world.
There are modern twists to the baklava, with chocolate and vanilla baklava available for the sweet-toothed. But if you’re the type who has to avoid sugary treats, there are also gluten-free baklava treats on offer.
Where to Get the Right Baklava
So you’re already salivating and want to know where to get the right baklavas with all these qualities. Layla’s Delicacies have you covered with all the above characteristics present in their baklavas.
Layla’s Delicacies is an online-only Middle Eastern food and drinks store in New Jersey. We ship fresh baklavas and Mediterranean treats all over the US within 24 hours. So you know you will be getting the freshest products for your Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr celebrations.
You can also get special gift boxes with sweets and baklava treats for your loved ones. These gifts will get you in the mood for the Festival of Sweets, the other name for Eid al-Fitr.
Layla’s Delicacies will provide you an authentic Meditteranean experience. Experienced artisans versed in Meditteranean cuisine produce their food products by hand. This process ensures you will be getting only the best Middle Eastern treats when you order.