Turkey stampedes to baklava for sugar feasts

Turkey stampedes to baklava for sugar feasts

Turkey stampedes to baklava for sugar feasts

Baklava, a traditional pastry with syrup, is one of the hot items for Bayram. AA photo

If the Turkish saying “Let’s eat sweet and talk sweet” is true, who knows what the country’s already harsh rhetoric would have been if it weren’t smoothed by the tons of baklava consumed during the Ramadan period.

One of Istanbul’s favorite baklava producers, Güllüoğlu in the Karaköy district, a few blocks from Galata Bridge, has sold 80 tons of the Turkish people’s beloved pastry. The number represents a sweet craze 20 percent above last year’s sales, owner Nadir Güllü said. The shop also sold 10 tons of Güllaç, a pastry cousin of the baklava made with rose syrup.

“Before the bayram days, the trend increases. We sell four tons of baklava on the day before the holiday alone,” Güllü said. He indicated that making the multi-layered, nut-filled - preferably pistachio - and syrupy pastry requires an art that cut-price forgeries can easily cut corners on.

The pastry chef advised paying a few more Turkish Liras and not sacrificing quality for quantity, adding that cheap baklava could eventually be very unhealthy.“In order to understand if a baklava is quality, people should first pay attention to the pastry’s color,” Güllü said. But that is not all. “The exterior should be a golden yellow, while the nut or the pistachio should have its proper smell and taste.”Güllü added that the syrup used is also of capital importance. “The syrup should not be excessive and people should request that the baklava not be made with glucose syrup.”

Closing the curtain at bayram feasts, the quintessential baklava will no doubt smooth hearts and minds, and in the most delicious way possible.