Food - Drink
The Dessert Debate Greece And Turkey Can't Seem To Settle
BY MATTHEW SPINA
Greece and Turkey have a fraught relationship that spans centuries. Greece was a conquered subject of the Turkish-dominated Ottoman Empire for almost 400 years, and this meshing of cultures still affects both nations' way of life, including their cuisines; in fact, much argument ensues between Turks and Greeks regarding a certain dessert.
Baklava is a delicious dessert of flaky phyllo dough, honey syrup, and crunchy nuts, and any nation would be proud to say they invented it. This is the struggle between Greece and Turkey, and on one hand, a forerunner of baklava was made in ancient Assyria and brought to Greece in the 8th century BCE, making a good case for the Greeks.
However, Turkey also has a stake in claiming baklava, since later versions of the dish showed Persian and Middle Eastern influence via pistachios and rose water, and the word "baklava" is thought to be based in Turkish. Additionally, the modern version of baklava has been traced to the palace kitchens of the 17th-century Ottoman sultans.