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6 Amazing Mediterranean Pastry Ingredients and Their Rich History

We have all had that delicious pastry that was so delicious it could not possibly be from this planet. It could be heavenly for all its wonder and delight.

At Layla's Delicacies, we endeavor to make your taste sensations as heavenly as possible. The secret is in our ingredients which have been used in Mediterranean pastries and sweets for centuries.

As you celebrate Eid-al-Fitr we want you and your loved ones to experience the rich flavor and nutritious delights that we prepare.

Mediterranean Diet- Why Is It So Special? The Surprising Truth 

The Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest diets in the world and has been consistently advocated for by physicians around the world. 

But what makes it so special? 

The Mediterranean diet is so named because it incorporates the traditional foods of countries around the Mediterranean — namely Greece, Italy, France, Spain, and Northern Africa countries e.g. Tunisia. It has a rich cultural history woven into it.

It consists of plenty of legumes, vegetables, nuts, fruits, fish, cereals, and oils such as olive oil. It’s also rich in wheat-based starches such as pasta and bread and also low in meat and dairy products.  

Essentially, it consists of what most nutritionists, physicians, and fitness experts recommend as an optimum diet for good health and weight loss. 

While breaking your fast, a diet that is rich in plant proteins, nuts, fruits, vegetables, and healthy starches is ideal for all your dietary needs. With added olive oil or any other vegetable oil, the daily recommended amounts for your fat intake will also be met. 

The Mediterranean diet contains everything you need and will keep you healthy and strong enough during your fast. 

Nuts and fruits are routinely added when making a Mediterranean pastry, making them nutritious and healthy. At Layla’s Delicacies, we add nuts such as almonds, pistachios, and hazelnuts to our sweets keeping with the Mediterranean diet that our confections are a part of. 

We have your health and dietary needs in mind during Ramadan as we prepare our desserts. We want you to experience rich, healthy desserts and flavors during your Holy Month.

delicious pistachio, almond, and hazelnut filled sweets
Layla’s Delicacies

Popular Ingredients in Your Mediterranean Dessert

Mediterranean desserts are known for their unique and delicious flavors. This is due to the different ingredients used that are not common to most dessert recipes around the world but are must-haves for Mediterranean sweets. 

A combination of nuts, honey, and other ingredients are used when making a Mediterranean dessert to make it truly special and unique. 

Some of the most commonly used ingredients in our sweets and most Mediterranean desserts include but are not limited to:

  • Pistachios
  • Almonds
  • Hazelnuts
  • Orange blossom water
  • Rosewater
  • Honey

The different combinations of these ingredients in our desserts make for truly delicious, unique flavors and healthy sweets. 

At Layla's Delicacies, we use those same ingredients to bring you some of the finest Tunisian treats made with love and decades of experience.

Pistachios 

Pistachios are a truly wonderful delicacy, full of flavor and health benefits making them ideal for breaking your fast during Ramadan. 

Pistachios were voted a top food in the Mediterranean diet due to their health benefits.

Pistachios are not only a good source of protein but also a good source of minerals and fibers. As such they are good for muscle strength in the body and have also been linked to reduced eyesight problems as well as reduced cardiovascular diseases.

Imagine that! Every time you try Baklava Pistachio or Samsa Pistachio, you’re improving your health and wellness.

Pistachios are believed to have originated from Persia (modern-day Iran) where they signified status and wealth. They were introduced to the Mediterranean regions of Greece and North Africa through the conquest of Alexander the Great and have remained a delicacy in the Mediterranean region since.

They are a traditional part of most Mediterranean delicacies and at Laylas's Delicacies, we have kept that tradition alive. 

We use them in a number of our pastries including Baklava Pistachio and Samsa Pistachio. We also make soft mixtures of almond and pistachio for our Vegan Boxes which are absolutely delicious.

delicious pastry with a touch of cinnamon that you can bake to warm up
Samsa Pistachio

Almonds

Also part of the Mediterranean diet, almonds have had a long history in European countries such as Spain, France, Italy, and England. 

They have had many uses from almond milk, common in the fasting days of the church in the 16th-18th centuries, to pastries containing almonds. Almonds are definitely a delicacy.

They have been used in food and dessert for centuries by different cultures across Europe and as a result of the interaction of European countries with Northern Africa; the use of almonds was exported to the culinary cuisines of North Africa. 

They’re still a favorite ingredient in Greek and Italian recipes. 

At Layla's Delicacies, we carry on the centuries-old tradition of using almonds in pastries. We have delicacies such as Almond Fingers as well as other sweets that use almond in their recipes.

Almonds also have numerous health benefits such as lowering blood sugar levels, reduced blood pressure, lower levels of cholesterol, aiding digestion, and building muscle strength. 

As you enjoy our Almond Fingers know we have your health in mind. We want you to have good health and our treats ensure just that.

Almond Finger
Almond Finger

Hazelnuts

Hazelnuts have long been a staple of many European countries. The hazelnut tree and the nuts themselves are rich in flavor, nutrition, and health benefits. 

Though they’re believed to have originated from European countries centuries ago, ancient religious texts from Asia mention them as part of their sacred foods. 

Hazelnuts are popular in cooking due to their rich flavor. They have been used in many recipes around the world from different cultures and are an important part of Mediterranean recipes. 

A combination of hazelnuts and chocolate is still a favorite in Greek dessert recipes. They’re also a common ingredient in puff pastry recipes. Our recipes use filo as opposed to puff pastry dough but they’re still filled with delicious hazelnut goodness. 

We use hazelnuts in our sweets in keeping with traditional Mediterranean recipes. We use the hazelnuts whole and sometimes as part of soft mixtures mixed with other nuts like almonds in our gluten free recipes which can be found in our Vegan Box.

Gluten free soft Hazelnut and Almond Mixture
Vegan Box: Gluten free soft Hazelnut and Almond Mixture

Orange Blossom Water

Also known as orange flower water, orange blossom water has been a part of Mediterranean cooking for centuries. 

It also has a rich history of being used in cooking in both the Middle East and Europe. It was regarded to be only for the wealthy due to its rarity and was only thus cultivated and afforded by those who had the means to do so.

Orange flower water is made from the flowers of the Seville orange which are steamed and have distilled water added to them to produce both an essential oil with an orange flavor. 

The amount of distilled water used determines the strength of the orange. The less water used, the stronger the flavor. 

Due to bitterness, Seville oranges are not usually consumed and are instead used to make marmalades, syrups, and sauces such as orange blossom water. 

Orange blossom water was and is still used in pastries to flavor cakes and other pastry desserts. It is used sparingly due to its strong flavor and bitterness. It has a rich flavor which adds a touch of uniqueness to the deserts it’s used in.

We use orange blossom water in our candies to add a rich flavor to them. 

Here’s a fun little tip; you can add orange blossom water to lemon juice or lemonade to create a unique taste. 

Orange Blossom Water
Source: Unsplash

Rosewater

Rosewater is also a traditional part of Mediterranean pastries and sweets. It has been a part of Greek, Roman, Italian, and Persian traditions both in cooking and in celebrations.

Roses were used as part of wedding rites in ancient Greek and Roman cultures. Roses were also used as a part of their culinary delicacies due to their rich flavor and aroma.

The Persians developed the technique of steaming rose petals to produce rose oil useful for cosmetics but the process also produced rose water.

Rosewater is used in baking due to its strong aroma and rich flavor. For those reasons, it’s used sparingly because the flavor and aroma can be overpowering.

At Layla's Delicacies, we also use rose water and rose petals in our confections. The petals are used for both decorating and for their rich flavor producing a tasty confection in the process. 

Our appreciation boxes have sweets that have been decorated with rose petals for you to enjoy the amazing artistry and perfection of Mediterranean sweets.

White and pink flowers
Source: Unsplash

Honey

Honey has been referred to as the food of the gods due to its wonderful taste and texture. Different cultures around the world ascribe godlike attributes to honey. 

From the ancient Egyptians who used it in worshipping their gods to the English who used it as a sweetener before the advent of sugar. 

In ancient greek and roman cultures, honey was presented as a gift to the gods. 

Honey was also used extensively in baking as a sweetener for all kinds of desserts and teas. In Egypt, Europe, and Asia, honey was the most popular sweetener before the discovery and extensive use of sugar.

The use of honey as a sweetener is still ongoing as it's considered a healthier alternative to sugar.  Honey also has a unique flavor that enriches the flavor of the dessert it’s used in. As such it is still used in many pastries around the world.

Honey is still a major ingredient used in Mediterranean desserts and our candies are no different. The Top and bottom layers of Baklava Pistachio are dipped in honey to add a rich flavor to them. We want you to enjoy authentic Mediterranean desserts so why not try some today?

Baklava Pistachio
Baklava Pistachio

Authentic Mediterranean Confections Await You

At Layla's Delicacies, we use traditional Mediterranean ingredients and recipes to create truly wonderful sweets for you to enjoy. 

Contact us today to place your order and get to experience the wonderful Mediterranean sweets that we have lovingly prepared. Don't forget to also leave a review, your opinion matters to us. With much love from our hearts to your home.


Featured Image from:Pixabay by gate74

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