I am not generally a person with a sweet tooth, I always prefer cheese to dessert, dry wine to sweet, bitter beer to sweet cider… but occasionally I do like very very sweet things, for example, baklava.
The main character of my current novel, Thomas Radwinter does have a very sweet tooth, and when he is offered some delicious Armenian pastries he cannot resist. For a particular reason which you will discover if you read the book when it’s published, he had his nephew drawing Armenian dishes, and I have commissioned my husband (payment in beer) to do some drawings to include in the novel.
Because of this, it was necessary to buy some baklava for him to draw… oh, dear… this means we shall have to eat it! We could not find any locally so went to Bristol; we never mind a jaunt to the city, and we had some other things to do so we went to our favourite Turkish supermarket and bought some baklava and other things too.
Apparently the word baklava comes from an Arabic term meaning a rectangular object with two acute and two obtuse angled corners… mathematical pastry! There are different types, made with different ingredients, such as pistachios or walnuts, one called bird’s nest because it looks like one, burma which looks as if it is covered in shredded wheat, but it is in fact shredded filo pastry, finger shaped baklava, balloorieh which is flavoured with rose-water, a layered baklava with pine nuts , basma which looks a little like a cross between a brownie and a flapjack… and I’m sure there are many more too!
I haven’t any pictures of baklava, I shall share them when the artist has completed his work!
In my first Radwinter novel, Thomas traces his father’s family, and invents a savoury shortbread:
In my second Radwinter novel, Thomas follows his mother’s family history and learns to cook on a budget
My third Radwinter novel should be published at Easter!