How Do You Like Your Baklava? This Middle Eastern Staple Varies by Country…

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Kontos Foods’ Assorted Baklava offers a selection of these rich pastries for sampling
Paterson, New Jersey – Dec. 19 Every country in the Middle East region has a ‘baklava’ dessert for which it’s famous, and countries fight over who invented it. Baklava is a rich dessert popular around the holidays, traditionally made with buttered fillo dough, which is layered with nuts, and then glazed with a sweet syrup. But how baklava is prepared, what kind of nuts, fillings and spices, which type of syrup, and how much to apply, and even the shape the pastry is cut into, says a lot about one’s ethnic heritage. Assorted Baklava from Kontos Foods, provider of hand-stretched artisan flatbreads and traditional Mediterranean food, allows you to offer your guests a cross-cultural plate of pastries this holiday season. Each package comes with pieces of pastries including Classic Baklava, Mediterranean Nut Rolls, Bird’s Nest pastries, etc., all made with Kontos Foods’ signature Fillo and Kataifi doughs. The classic Baklava comes with chopped walnuts and almonds, then glazed with rosewater and honey syrup. The Nut Rolls come with walnuts, almonds, and spices baked in buttered layers of fillo, topped with a honey syrup; then drizzled with chocolate and some slivered almonds. The Bird’s Nest pastries are also made with almonds and walnuts, and then topped with crumbled pistachios. All the pastries are Certified Kosher Dairy and Halal.

How do you like your Baklava? Here’s a regional guide:

• Greece: Legend has it that Baklava is made with 33 layers of fillo, referring to the years of Jesus Christ’s life, or 40 layers for the days of Lent. Flavorings range from cinnamon and cloves, and baklava filling is walnuts and/or almonds, or sesame and poppy seeds, depending which region of Greece you hail from. Overall, the dessert is classified as “extra-syrupy” to describe how it is made, and how much cold syrup is poured over the freshly baked buttered fillo.
• Armenia & Azerbaijan: (‘pakhlava’ and ‘paklava’) are made with walnuts and/or almonds and contain cinnamon and cloves. In Azerbaijan, it is cut into a rhombus shape, and is served during Nowruz, a secular spring holiday.
• Eastern Turkey: Baklava is traditionally made by filling between Ghee-brushed layers of dough with walnuts, hazelnuts or pistachios. It usually doesn’t have the honey or spices like cinnamon or cloves of other baklavas, and is topped with a sweetened rose water.
• Egypt: Buttered layers are filled with cashews.
• South-Central Asia: Cardamom, and in some regions, orange water are used to flavor the sweet syrup.
• Israel: Baklava is made with oil, rather than butter, and they use cashews or almonds for their Kosher Pareve dessert.

“Baklava is great way to celebrate any holiday,” says Kontos Foods Corporate Executive Chef Demetrios Haralambatos. “Everyone can appreciate the rich sweetness in one piece of baklava. Although time consuming to make, it is not difficult. And for those inclined to do so, there are many recipes out there! But for those rushing around trying to get their Christmas shopping done, buying a quality, premade baklava is a great substitute.”

About Kontos Foods
Founded in 1987, Kontos Foods, Inc. is a Paterson, New Jersey-based provider of artisan flatbreads and traditional Mediterranean foods for restaurants, hotels, food service, retail specialty stores and supermarkets worldwide. The family-owned company specializes in hand-stretched flatbreads, including the Kontos Pocket-Less Pita®, Fillo dough, pastries, olives, Gyro meats, and Greek yogurts, as well as nearly 50 varieties of multi-ethnic flatbreads. Kontos, which has over 225 employees and was founded by Evripides (Evris) Kontos with his son Steven, together bring over 100 years’ experience in the premium food industry. The company’s bread and Fillo products are made in the USA. Visit www.kontos.com or call (973) 278-2800.

Media Contact
Patty Yeager
Fastlane on Behalf of Kontos
(855) 677-5263, ext. 109
PatriciaY@fastlane.co

Kontos Contact
Warren Stoll
Kontos Foods Inc.
(973) 278-2800, ext. 326
WarrenS@kontos.com