A sine qua non of social life in the Middle and Far East,
sweets gradually began to find their way into western
cuisines from the 14th and 15th centuries. But there
are significant differences between eastern and western
cuisines in the variety and consumption of sweets.
Whereas in the West sweets tend to be light and are
served at the end of the meal, in the East they are
served at any hour of the day and are fragrant and
flavourful and drenched in syrup.
THE DISTINCTIVE POSITION OF BAKLAVA
Everyone knows that sweets are a staple of Turkish
cuisine. Take ‘baklava’, for instance,
the Turks’ most important contribution to
the world of sweets. It absolutely cannot be made
from a mere recipe; only long years of experience
can impart its special flavor. Although many theories
have been advanced concerning the invention of baklava,
none is certain. According to Charles Perry, however,
a researcher on the history of Middle Eastern cuisine,
the technique of rolling out paper-thin dough originated
in this part of the world.