The Ice Breaker

The Ice Breaker

Baklava is a great way to break the ice in a new office, or lift your fellow employees’ tensions with a sweet gourmet treat. While doughnuts and bagels have traditionally dominated, baklava is far more creative and will surely get the attention of your co-workers.  No one will resist the sweet crispy nutty buttery flavor packed in every bite of baklava.

Baklava is a rich, sweet pastry featured in many cuisines in the area once controlled by the former Ottoman Empire, in Central Asia and in the Middle East.  It is made of layers of phyllo dough stuffed with chopped nuts, such as walnuts, pistachios, cashews or almonds and flavored in a variety of ways.  The pastry is often sweetened using honey and cinnamon or with a sugar rose water syrup mixture.  One of the most critical ingredients found in baklava that gives it a rich flavor is clarified butter.  Clarified butter is butter that has been rendered to separate the milk solids and water from the butterfat. Typically, it is produced by melting butter and separating the different components that surface.  

Baklava comes in a variety of shapes and sizes.  The traditional diamond shape is popular among most every one who makes it.  As you cross different parts of the world, baklava is made different like the half-shell mini rose shape or the finger roll.  There’s also an open faced phyllo cup commonly known as the birds nest made with whole nuts – cashews or pistachios.  The “caviar” burma baklava is really outstanding and is made of a fried shredded phyllo with whole nuts. 

Baklava serves well with just about anything.  You’ll find it served in a variety of settings for just about any special occasion.  Often, baklava is served as an after meal delight with coffee or tea.  In various parts of the far to middle east, black tea with milk and baklava are winning combinations. 

Baklava given as a gift is very common in eastern parts of the world – similar to sending chocolates or cookies during Christmas.  Weddings, parties, religious holidays are just some to name a few reason why baklava is shared.  One interesting aspect of Baklava is that it has a relatively long shelf-life even exposed to open air.  It’s almost impossible to find spoiled baklava and chances are someone will like the pastry as it ages.  Baklava tends to dry out and change texture over time but some how manages to never get thrown out. 

It used to be that you had to travel overseas, visit some expensive restaurant or bakery to get baklava.  But thanks to the modern technology, these passionately crafted pastries can be delivered fresh right to your doorstep and try some today.

Need a great gift idea?  Why not try sending baklava instead of flowers or chocolates.  Yes – baklava makes a fabulous gift idea and it’s almost guaranteed to make a lasting impression.

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