Taste blog

The history of the baklava: from antiquity to modern times

Baklava, a sweet pastry made from thin dough, nuts and syrup or honey, is one of the most famous and popular desserts in the world today. But where does this delicacy come from and how has it evolved over the centuries? This article takes you on a journey through the fascinating history of baklava – from its ancient roots to its popularity today.

Ancient origins

The exact origins of baklava are difficult to determine, as sweet pasta was common in many ancient cultures. Historians believe that the first forms of baklava originated in ancient Mesopotamia. Here, simple layers of thin bread are combined with nuts and honey. These early desserts were often served at festive occasions and were seen as a sign of wealth and hospitality.

Development in the Byzantine Empire

Baklava continued to develop in the Byzantine Empire in the 4th century AD. The Byzantines added more layers to the dessert and refined the recipe. Baklava was particularly popular in Constantinople (now Istanbul), a crossroads between East and West. The best ingredients from different regions of the empire were used to make this delicious dessert.

Ottoman Empire and the perfection of the recipe

However, the true perfection of the baklava took place in the Ottoman Empire, which existed from 1299 to 1922. The Ottomans made baklava an integral part of their cuisine and brought it to perfection. The Topkapı Palace in Istanbul was known for its elaborate baklava variations, which were prepared for the sultan and his courtiers. During Ramadan, baklava became a highly symbolic festive pastry that was often exchanged as a gift.

Distribution to the world

With the expansion of the Ottoman Empire, baklava found its way to many countries in the Middle East, North Africa and the Balkans. Each region developed its own version of this sweet by integrating local ingredients and flavors. In Greece, for example, baklava is often made with almonds and walnuts, while in Iran rose water and cardamom are added.

Baklava in the modern world

In the 20th century, baklava also spread to Western countries, especially through migrants from Turkey, Greece and the Middle East. Baklava became popular in Germany thanks to the Turkish community, who brought their traditional recipes and baking techniques with them. Today, baklava is easy to find in many European countries and is appreciated by gourmets worldwide.

Sönmez Baklava in Germany represents a perfect blend of tradition and innovation. The founders, Mustafa and Adil Sönmez, rely on the best pistachios from Gaziantep and traditional recipes to offer the incomparable taste experience of the original Gaziantep baklava.

Baklava has had an impressive journey, from the ancient cultures of Mesopotamia to the cuisines of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires and its worldwide popularity today. This sweet delicacy is not only a treat for the palate, but also a piece of history that reflects the cultural connections and culinary creativity of different peoples. Whether as a festive dessert or an everyday treat, baklava remains a timeless classic that captures the hearts of gourmets all over the world.