When in Greece you must eat baklava even if you think you don’t like it, because not all baklava is created equal.
A good one will make you feel like a guest of the gods. A bad piece has the potential to turn you away for the rest of your life.
There is one simple trick to differentiate bad baklava from good. Look at the syrup. If the syrup is clear get the hell out of there. It’s nothing but sugar and water. If the syrup is yellow go to the cashier and say hello!
Hello! Hello! Honey makes the syrup yellow, and in Greece good honey is serious business.
When my Greek friend called his honey guy for a hook up he was like, “Do you want flowers, pine, or hazelnuts?” He was of course referring to the dining habits of the bees! Good bee food makes good honey, and good honey is the key to banging baklava.
Once you’ve found the best baklava in town, use the guide below to figure out which construction will rock your world.
A Quick Guide to Baklava
The basic ingredients to baklava are the same: phyllo dough, butter, nuts, and syrup. Nuts are usually walnuts or pistachios. The shape is what changes the experience.
This is the simplest- layers of phyllo, layers of nuts, more layers of phyllo. Eat it with your fingers or a fork. You can’t go wrong.
365 crunch is the name of the game when it comes to sarakli. Rolled like sushi, you get a nice crispy exterior and a crumbly, gooey nut center. The ratios of crunch to goo are perfect. This is by far my favorite.
Sarakli (the other kind)
Nuts take center stage here. It’s also rolled, but much larger then sliced to give the nuts maximum exposure. An amazing coffee accompaniment.
It’s difficult to detect a true difference between this sarakli and the others. It’s brown and has a more muted flavor, but in the end, it’s all baklava.
It looks like shredded wheat and it unfortunately, once in your mouth, feels like soggy shredded wheat too. If you plan to get a baby hopped up on sugar or you’re not a big chewer, go ahead grab kantaifi.
The word means napkin, but I think it looks like a pocket. This pocket holds something special inside. A square of cheese is tucked in with your baklava classics. The flavor isn’t particularly noticeable, but the texture – oh baby! Think mochi marries baklava and you’re on the right track.
If you can’t choose, there’s always the option to get them all. A sweet box like this costs about ten Euros and is enough to feed 5-8 people.