Is it baklava or balaclava?

March 6, 2011

I remember making this sweet dessert when I was a teenager at my church.  The sheets of pastry took forever to get together and assemble. 

I also recall calling balaclavas baklavas when I worked for the Appalachian Mountain Club.  See, balaklavas are ski masks that cover your face, except for your eyes, mouth, and nose.

The bad part of baklava, is that they don’t have chocolate.  In fact, I wonder if any Mediterranean desserts have chocolate?  Maybe they don’t believe in it or don’t have access to it.

So these Middle Easterners turn to honey nut pastry to satiate their bellies.  What if they sold baklava next to hummus?  Maybe if it had chickpeas in it it would sell better than it does.  There are chickpea desserts in the Phillippines called halo-halo.  Baklava has to be the most popular Middle Eastern dessert.  So why isn’t it marketed better here?  There’s even Halva, a chickpea sweet dish in Bangladesh.  What’s so scary about this dish that it’s not sold in diners or fast food restaurants or as a packaged snack?

I know baklava is not as healthy as some of our power bars, but are power bars and candy bars really all that healthy?  Baklava is just honey, pastry, and nuts.  It doesn’t give you any energy, but neither does pure sugar.  But baklava can be messy and those store bought candies are too easy and no fuss to shove into your mouth.

Ok, last thought.  I attempted to make baklava just now.  I put it in the oven and it looks pretty tasty.  The main problem was that it looked too liquidy because the orange blossom water I thought was supposed to be syrupy, is not.  I’ve never cooked with phyllo sheets before either, but I guess it’ll turn out ok.  I wonder how many middle Eastern mothers or fathers cook baklava.

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