Ask a Turk what they associate with Gaziantep and the chances are that they will desire longingly for some “şam fıstığı” (pistachios). And of course, from those pistachios, one can make a delicious melt-in-the-mouth baklava. There are seven ingredients in baklava, and pistachio is key to this exquisite and traditional dessert. Durum wheat flour; eggs and salt for the pastry; milk and semolina for the “kaymak” (Turkish clotted cream) which is added to the pistachios for the filling; and clarified butter are also needed to make baklava, which is one of the most popular desserts of Turkish cuisine. Gaziantep is a well-known city in Turkey with various types of baklavas and baklava baking techniques, which have been passed down from generation to generation.
Mr Ahmet Murat Ustunsurmeli has been known as the first authentic baklava producer in London. He launched the artisanal Baklava shop and bakery in 1993. Mr. Surmeli and his culinary team have been following the authentic principles of baklava production. Baklava is a rich, sweet pastry made of layers of filo with chopped nuts, sweetened and held together with syrup or honey and is popular all over the world. According to culinary historian Charles Perry, a contributor to the Oxford Companion to Food who has translated four medieval Arabic recipe collections, baklava descends from layered breads first made in the Middle Ages by Turkish nomads in Central Asia. “The 11th-century Turkish dialect dictionary Diwan Lughat al-Turk records the expression qatma yuvgha, which translates in Arabic to khubz mughaddan, literally ‘folded bread,’ and to this day, the Central Asian Turkic nations make layered breads,” he wrote. “The same word, yufka, is applied to the paper-thin sheets of dough from which modern baklava is made in Turkey.” The history of Baklava is not well documented, but there is some evidence that its current form was developed in the imperial kitchens of the Topkapı Palace in Istanbul. The Sultan supposedly presented trays of baklava to the Ottoman household troops and bodyguards every 15th of the month of Ramadan in a ceremonial procession called the Baklava Alayı.‘Antep baklavası’ has a registered geographical sign from 2013, as a Protected Geographical Indication by the European Commission. So, baklava now officially belongs to Antep!
Take a look at our delicious, homemade baklava menu