Baklava Recipes from the Greek King Otto I to the Present

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Güldemir O.

Athens Journal of Mediterranean Studies, vol.8, no.2, pp.93-106, 2022 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)


Baklava is important in Turkish cuisine because of its international recognition and its place in important days and tables in the society. It has many varieties such as melon, curd, almond, hazelnut and pistachio from past to present. Friedrich Unger, the confectioner of Otto I, the first king of Greece, visited Istanbul in 1835. “Conditorie des Orients”, published by Unger in 1838, is a unique resource for Ottoman confectionery. In this study, the recipe for baklava written by Unger was compared with the recipes for baklava in two books. The first of these is the 19th century Ottoman Turkish cookbook Kitabüt Tabbahin. The other is the Turkish cuisine book, which includes the recipes of today’s classic Turkish dishes. Baklava with almond recipes in these three books were compared with three general criteria. These criteria are the material used, the preparation of the baklava, and the nutritional values. Flour is used in all three recipes. In the first recipe honey is used as a sweetener, in the second it can be used honey or sugar, and in the third sugar. Their preparations are very similar, with slight differences. Nutritional values also show changes due to the difference in the material used.