Turkey is the bridge between Europe and Asia. It shows plenty of Middle Eastern influence in their cuisine, however, Turkey is thoroughly Mediterranean and for a good number of Turkish dishes, you will find a very similar one in Greek cuisine. Not exactly so in their confectionery. It is amazing what it is achieved with a handful of ingredients -pastry or dough, nuts, a few spices, and sugar, honey or syrup.
Best of Turkish confectionery
Turkish confectionery provides a wide selection of pastries made out of pastry dough, nuts ad honey or syrup, where shape and filling determine the type.
Baklava consists of whole pistachio nuts encased between layers of filo pastry and covered with syrup. Althouh pistachios are the most popular nuts, other nuts can be used for the filling, walnuts, for instance. This is one of the most popular treats and not so difficult to prepare once mastered the art of brushing the filo pastry with melted butter. That is the trick. Enjoy it with the fabulous Turkish coffee, after a meal or just as mid-afternoon break.
Assabee is made with filo pastry and a filling of minced cashew nuts, very finely chopped. It is soaked in syrup afterwards. Just the three same ingredients found in most East Mediterranean confectionery and pastries.
Ballorieh is a treat made of chopped pistachios -use your favorite nut- encased between shredded dough and lightly baked, usally cut into squares. Make it coconut squares and you have coconut ballorieh.
Boukage has a pyramidal shape, similar to an open parcel. It is made of square layers of filo pastry with a nut filling -cashew, pistachio- and immersed in syrup.
Similar ingredients, very different flavor. All of them are addictive, but, mind, butter, nuts and sugar means they are high in calories and fat. Turkish treats are to be enjoyed in little bits.