Talk:Baklava/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2


Your comments can take place in the article, but firstly you should supply your sources supporting your view. And secondly the history section is not the place for this text to take place. Thanks. --Chapultepec 02:03, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

I will relocate it below preparation section for the time being. But one problem, your source seems not so explanatory, would you please name your source in more details? It doesn't have to be an internet source, but it should at least be a book, a report or a documentary that can be reached with the given details. This way is not so acceptable. Thanks. --Chapultepec 02:16, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

It's ok, I got it. But noone can check a past news programme. There has to be some official documentation in the EU legislation regarding this. Would you please check the internet in official EU sites and find the related report or legislation regarding this, or at least a title or a text mentioning about this? --Chapultepec 02:35, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

Credible sources

The quality of the sources used in the baklava article has often been discussed, so I thought I'd write down some thoughts on the subject....

The Wikipedia policies WP:No original research and WP:Verifiability require that we use WP:Reliable sources in articles (I'd strongly recommend editors read those policies carefully).

As with many subjects, this can be a challenge for food history. There are many legends about food history (see, e.g. Croissant), and a lot of national pride attached to many foods. The legends tend to be perpetuated in cookbooks, newspaper columns, Web pages, and other non-scholarly sources. Fortunately, for some foods at least, there are serious researchers who have looked into the history using good methods and sources and have published their results in reputable books and journals. Of course, this doesn't necessarily mean that their conclusions are correct or definitive, but it gives some degree of confidence. And if there are contradictory scholarly theories, WP policy says we report them.

The current baklava article contains all the scholarly theories that editors have found so far and reports on their conclusions. Some editors have wondered why we should consider Perry as credible. Well, he's a scholar who has studied at Princeton and Berkeley; he has published a translation of al-Baghdadi's cookbook; he reads many of the relevant languages (Arabic, Turkish, Greek). He publishes his work in reputable places, like Petits Propos Culinaires, the Oxford Symposium on Food & Cookery History, the Oxford Companion to Food, and books edited by serious academics (like the one in question). He makes cogent arguments based on direct study of the documents in question. He references relevant secondary literature, even when it disagrees with him (like Vryonis and Koukoules, whom Vryonis references). Because he publishes in reputable places, he opens himself up to criticism, which means that there is an opportunity for rebuttal. His article on baklava is well-reasoned. He doesn't have any (obvious) axe to grind or conflict of interest (e.g. he is not working for the Uzbek Ministry of Culture). He is cited by other articles on the subject. (e.g. "The Westernization of Iranian Culinary Culture", Iranian Studies 36:1:43)

Of course, if any of us find other solid sources, we should integrate them into the article. --Macrakis 20:53, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

I think there misunderstanding of the origin of baklava. Baklava making was first invented in the middle east where the Levant, Mesopotamian and Arabia. Baklava perhaps was introduced to Turkish by Arabs. Just like kunafa, lokum, halva, halawa, Kadayif and many other desserts, with keeping in consideration that the mentioned desserts contain Arabic origin names and not related to the Turkish language or origin. (unsigned comment by User: 2007-01-07T06:02:52)

This is the baklava article; the other foods you mention have their own history sections. If you have reliable sources for a Middle Eastern origin for baklava, please contribute them. Thanks. --Macrakis 21:46, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

It doesn't matter this article shouldn't state Turkic origin is the only possibility Perry is not the only scholar in the world who is reliable therefore changing it is necessary. Vryonis Speros who states that baklava has Greek origins. Vryonis is a Byzantine Professor who can read Ottoman Turkish and Medieval Greek. Source: The Decline of Medieval Hellenism in Asia Minor and the Process of Islamization from the Eleventh Through the Fifteenth Century by Vryonis Speros Jr. also there is an excerpt taken from Delights from the Garden of Eden: A Cookbook and a History of the Iraqi Cuisine written by Nawal Nasrallah. As far as I have been able to ascertain, Nasrallah is not a serious academic, however, his ideas are interesting. It should also be noted that Perry has read and translated al-Baghdadi, which Nasrallah uses as a source. Nareklm 07:40, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

LMAO, Narek, copy pasting what I said from Myspace tsk tsk tsk :P :P :P HAHAHAH

Yeah man we need all the help we can get ;-) Nareklm 19:35, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Of course Perry is not the only reliable scholar. Vryonis is already cited in the article for exactly the work you mention. Buell is also mentioned. I don't know anything about Nasrallah's book, but if she has solid research to present, why don't you discuss it here? --Macrakis 19:51, 21 January 2007 (UTC)


Some Turkish foods are named after the way they are prepared. Here are some recipes that sound similar to baklava, using yufka (phyllo).

Yag-lama: (to make with oil) Flat bread just with butter, other variations exist. (yag = oil)

Kat-lama: (to make by folding) Borek/Pastry from folded yufka. (kat = step)
Kabak-lama: (to make with "Squash" - the vegetable, not the action) Pastry covered with grated squash. (if Kabak + lama sounds weird, think of "Carbon+izing", "Caramel+izing", "Egg+ing", etc.) (kabak = squash)

So, we know it's a way of preparing it but we need to determine how. Let's say the "V" is now an "M", as in -lava is a -lama as from the examples above (in modern Turkey anyway).

So it could be:

Bakla-ma: would be a gross pastry with a sort of Bean (a Bakla), plus the "-ma" extension in this case means "do not"

Bag-lama: which would be "to tie up", "to wrap up", "to roll up" or even "don't tie up" depending on the syntax ("bag" with the soft G used in Turkish) sounds close, but makes no sense to "tie up". (bag = lace,tie,string)
Bal-lama: (to cover with honey) sounds yummy, but they use syrup for baklava, unless of course syrup was called bal (honey). sounds wrong also. (bal=honey)

Nothing concrete here so let's try it with words from other Turkish-speaking countries.

bay-lama: (to enrich - Turkmen) doesn't sound like it, and makes no sense. (bay=rich)

bag-lama: (to pile, layer) - (Azeri Turkish) but missing the "V" and this was proposed already...very very close but is it this real meaning? (bag,bak=pile)

Let's try another approach:

The hand tool, a long wooden dowel, that is used to stretch the dough (a rolling pin) is called an "OKLAVA" in Turkish. Here we have the same problem as in Baklava, as in no real meaning behind "oklava" except that it's used as a "rolling pin". It is much thinner than a regular rolling pin, maybe 3/8 to 1 inch in diameter. An Oklava is shaped like an an arrow as far as the shaft part goes, but the ends taper off suddenly so that the ends don't cut or leave tracks in the dough while rolling.

Imagine a meter long, round dowel with both ends very gradually tapered.

So now we have at least another word with the same vowel harmony, as it happens often in Turkish.

Let's break it apart as we can with most real Turkish words:

Ok=Arrow, "pole (of a wagon)", shaft. (Turkish) oklava looks a lot like a wagon pole (

Ok= Arrow, "Axis" (Turkmen Turkish) "Axis" makes some sense as far as rotating.

Thus, "Ok" is either the shape, or the way it rolls on it's axis. And "-lava" is the agglutinative verb, which in modern Turkish is "-lama". It uses other vowels for sound harmony, e.g. "ot-lama" (to graze), "kilit-leme" (to lock), "ek-leme" (to append), etc.

Therefore, "bag" or "bak" (pronounced almost the same) meaning "pile" or "bunch" or "layer" in both modern, older, and international Turkish, and with the morphed spelling of the -lama appended, means "to pile" or "to layer". Also, the pronounciacition between lama and lava is very similar, try it with: Baklama or Baklava.

If we compare to other pastries mentioned above, this means that it is named after the way it is prepared. Therefore, other pastries with similar ingredients but are not layered cannot be called Baklava.

I say that we completely dump the Arabic reference to the "bean" and the Mongolian reference to the name, and instead provide this "bag-lama" definition along with "oklava". Such as this.

The word baklava entered English from Turkish[4]; meaning "to make by layering". The word is composed of "bak" meaning "pile or layer" and "-lava" the agglunative verb meaning "to make with". Another example is "oklava" meaning "ok" meaning "a dowel or shaft" and again "-lava", meaning "to make with". Oklava is a Turkish Rolling-pin thin as an arrow's shaft, which is used to roll the dough into the thin sheets used in Baklava.

Who's with me? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Oguz1 (talkcontribs) 25 January 2007 21:33:00

I agree that the Arabic "bean" content is unnecessary; the only reason it is there is that it is apparently a widespread folk-etymology among Arabic speakers and keeps getting added by Arabs. So we respond to that preemptively, saying that it is not an accepted etymology.
The exploration of Turkish etymologies is fascinating, but WP policy forbids the publication of original research here. There are also some problems with the theory, but this is not the place to discuss them. If you can get your theory published in a reputable journal, or if you can cite a serious source that gives this etymology, we should include it. --Macrakis 03:02, 31 January 2007 (UTC)


There is no language known as "Indian." What has been written is a phoentic translation into devanagari script. This could be called "Hindi," but it does not need to be, as it could just as easily be "Marathi." The real point is there are 16 major lanuages in India, not all of them use the same script, but some do, and not one of them is called "Indian." Please take that down. G.Antonio.Malatesta

If you read the introduction to that section, or follow the link, you will see that it is a list of cuisines, not a list of languages. Now, I am aware that Indian cuisine is also a rather large and probably ill-defined category, like say Mediterranean cuisine or Chinese cuisine, but it is somewhat more respectable than "Indian language", which as you say doesn't exist at all.
But perhaps you could clear something substantive up here. Is baklava actually considered part of "Indian cuisine" the way (say) pizza (but not falafel) is considered part of American cuisine (yet another ill-defined category?
Thanks for your expertise. --Macrakis 22:12, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

wrong image

The Baklava.jpg image in the article is wrong it is not a Baklava. It is something similer to it but not. It is "Bülbül yuvası" in Turkish.--Plenumchamber 15:48, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Lousy English

If you want this article to be comprehensible, I would advise you to leave my edits in. It's gone back to sounding like gibberish. Oh, and the reference to that city in Turkey as being "associated" with baklawa is also meaningless. It should say that this city is famous for its baklawa, or something of the sort. --Gilabrand 12:07, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

But it changed the meaning a little bit especially in the history section. Furthermore, I don't think that your version of history section was grammatically correct as well. For example one of the sentences used to start with "Other say baklava is of Assyrian origin,".
Chapultepec 12:27, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
Besides, would you please give a change suggestion for the sentence "In Turkey, it is particularly associated with the city of Gaziantep." ? Chapultepec 12:30, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
That was probably a typo, and should have read "Others say" - it is not a grammatical mistake. I offered a suggestion above about fixing up "associated" - you can write that the city is known or famous for its baklava. All the best,

--Gilabrand 13:10, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

I will have a try to make the change for the sentence in question. Chapultepec 13:23, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

As someone whose mother tongue is English, I must tell you Chapultepec that there is nothing wrong with your sentence about baklava being 'particularly associated' with a certain city. That is perfectly correct English and a common way of saying that something is connected with a particular place. I don't know why Gilabrand has so aggressively accused you of incomprehensible English, but he is the one who's wrong in this instance I'm afraid. Thomani9 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:59, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

More on English

Yes, a cuisine can most certainly "feature" a certain dish. From your edits, you are clearly not an English speaker. I happen to be a professional editor and translator, so maybe you can challenge me on information, but not on my English. And by the way, I agree about "developed in Ottoman cuisine" being meaningless. I took it out in my edit, and Chapultepec put it back. --Gilabrand 13:07, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

Gilabrand, I think I qualify as a native English speaker, having lived in the U.S. since birth and being educated here from preschool through Ph.D. (not to mention "life experience" as the diploma mills call it). If you don't like my writing style, kindly do not attribute it to my language skills. To my ear, saying that a cuisine "features" some dish or another sounds like airline-magazine fluff, not good writing.
You also changed the sense of the passage about baklava and restaurants. It is a popular dessert in Middle Eastern restaurants world-wide, not just in the Middle East. On the other hand, the habit of offering an assortment of pastries on a brass tray seems to be regional.
Finally, you restored South Asia to the list of regions in which baklava is "found" or "featured". As far as I know, baklava is not particularly well-known or common in South Asia, though of course nowadays you find it in Iceland, Peru, and Taiwan as well as in the Middle East. --Macrakis 14:13, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
About the South Asia bit, it was there, and I don't know if it is correct or not. You can remove it as you see fit. As for my editing and use of "feature" - I stand by what I wrote - and compared to the general level of English on Wikipedia, it is close to Shakespeare. I don't know if it was you who rewrote the sentence and took out the word restaurant but it is not true that in the Middle East baklawa is a popular dessert in general. It is served at restaurants and catered events like weddings. Oh, and for your information, being an English speaker doesn't mean a person knows how to write. I have spent close to 40 years of my life editing the work of university professors who claim to be writers of English. But let's not fight. There is SOOO much work to be done on this site. Every little bit helps.
Best wishes,

--Gilabrand 14:49, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

"South Asia... You can remove it as you see fit." I did, and you reverted without explanation. Blanket reverts are poor form: please correct what needs to be corrected, no more, no less.
You also seem to agree that "developed in Ottoman cuisine" doesn't belong there, yet again you reverted it as part of a blanket revert.
Frankly, I don't think either "feature" or "found" is the mot juste. Perhaps "characteristic of" or "typical of"? As cuisine becomes more globalized, it is getting harder to describe traditional specialties: is doner kebab "traditional" in Germany? The modern form (served in pita) was apparently developed in Germany in the 1960's; and even in Turkey, it seems to only date to the 19th century, not immemorial tradition....
I do understand the difference between being an English speaker, even an educated English speaker, and being a good writer. And I would appreciate an apology for your explicit claim that I am not an English speaker and your implicit claim that I am not a competent writer. As you say, let's not fight. --Macrakis 15:57, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
Certainly, if I hurt your feelings I apologize. I did not do a blanket revert after we discussed it and I wrote "do as you see fit." Maybe it was someone else's edits that got in the way. All the work I did earlier today was reverted. And yes, it can be frustruating to see a lot of hard work go down the drain. Anyway I don't think this particular article is earthshakingly important - go see what's going on in the Jerusalem article...People are fighting over every comma. If you want to rewrite the stuff on here, go ahead. The only reason I got into this is because it breaks my heart to see English so badly mangled. Unless I know better, I try not to change the data on the assumption that the writer is better informed than I, but sometimes the original phrasing can be misleading. Again, I'm sorry to have challenged you on a mistaken assumption,

Best, --Gilabrand 16:21, 1 May 2007 (UTC)


de·vel·op v. de·vel·oped, de·vel·op·ing, de·vel·ops 1. To bring from latency to or toward fulfillment: an instructor who develops the capabilities of each student. 2. a. To expand or enlarge: developed a national corporation into a worldwide business. b. To aid in the growth of; strengthen: exercises that develop muscles. c. To improve the quality of; refine: develops his recipes to perfection; an extra year of study to develop virtuosic technique. 3. a. To cause to become more complex or intricate; add detail and fullness to; elaborate: began with a good premise but developed it without imagination. b. Music To elaborate (a theme) with rhythmic and harmonic variations. 4. a. To bring into being gradually: develop a new cottage industry. b. To set forth or clarify by degrees: developed her thesis in a series of articles. 5. a. To come to have gradually; acquire: develop a taste for opera; develop a friendship. b. To become affected with; contract; developed a rash; developed agoraphobia. 6. To cause gradually to acquire a specific role, function, or form, as: a. To influence the behavior of toward a specific end: an investigator who develops witnesses through flattery and intimidation. b. To cause (a tract of land) to serve a particular purpose: developed the site as a community of condominiums. c. To make available and effective to fulfill a particular end or need: develop the state's water resources to serve a growing population. d. To convert or transform: developed the play into a movie. 7. Games To move (a chess piece) to or toward a more strategic position. 8. a. To process (a photosensitive material), especially with chemicals, in order to render a recorded image visible. b. To render (an image) visible by this means. v.intr. 1. a. To grow by degrees into a more advanced or mature state: With hard work, she developed into a great writer. See Synonyms at mature. b. To increase or expand. c. To improve; advance: Their skill developed until it rivaled their teacher's. 2. To come gradually into existence or activity: Tension developed between students and faculty. 3. To come gradually to light; be disclosed: reports the news as it develops. 4. Biology a. To progress from earlier to later stages of a life cycle: Caterpillars develop into butterflies. b. To progress from earlier to later or from simpler to more complex stages of evolution. --Z y 22:56, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

What purpose does posting this dictionary definition serve, precisely? Atypicaloracle (talk) 16:04, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

New references

An anonymous user recently added some references and changed the intro of the article according to them.

As for the reference #3, which is in, the article begins with the word balkava, so raising doubts about the seriosity of the article. Furthermore it does not give any information supporting the sentence "Baklava is a popular dessert throughout the Levant and greater Middle Eastern areas". So, I'm reverting the sentence to the older revision giving necessary references.

As for the references #1 and #2, I can't say anything since I can't see their contents. But Byzantine claims were discussed here before and already take place in the article. So, everyone may read it. Thanks.

--Chapultepec 19:28, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

Enough is enough

Some Greeks may want Baklava to have Greek-Byzantine origins but so far nothing has proved!!! All you claimed "ancestors of baklava" turned out to be some sweets lacking dough??? or salty pastries???!!!! All your nationalistic books have alrady been refuted by new ones!!! So stop trying to mislead people. You can not even stand for layered dough style??? Güllaç is Turkish. Su böreği is Turkish. Gözleme is Turkish. Etymologically Turkish. You do not have even a tradition of using layered dough in your desserts or other courses. Sorry for the inconvenience! As stated above, even the images you are putting on Baklava page do not belong to baklava??? INCREDIBLE. First learn what it is or how it seems like at least!!!! --Z yTalk 14:23, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Why don't you want the world to know the truth? 08:07, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Dear anonymous, the definition in the introduction of the article gives geographical information about the use of modern-day baklava rather than ethnic. And the use of Ottoman is much more suitable than that of Byzantine since modern-day baklava became widespread in these regions during the Ottoman rule and the extent of the Ottoman Empire was much farther where the use of baklava is also popular, such as North Africa, Arabia, Southern Ukraine etc.

Furthermore, so far as I can see, the sources you gave do not supply anything supporting your addition in the introduction. What they generally read is known theories that ancient type of baklava is attested in Byzantine texts. These were discussed here before and already take place in the article. Thanks.

--Chapultepec 13:51, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

I tend to agree. the sources cited do indicate layered sweet desert with nuts and dough were in early Byzantine cuisine (as were stuffed grape leaves).
I think to draw a Turkish origin from the common use of a Turkish word is a logical fallacy in both cases.
I don't understand the lead paragraphs. the second graph as it stands at the moment serves no point but to repeat the first graph with the Word Ottoman and Turkish left in ans the other origin left out? The third graph on Gaziantep is really over the top. the citation is a non academic web site that contains no supporting cite itself and seems only to reflect a folklore and is fully contradicted by the text on origins later in the text which seems to be biased toward Azari origins.
I also find it strange that Vryonis argument is thrown out for not alledgedly not fully documenting dough, yet the lack of nuts in the Turkic folded breads is not challanged.
Again one sees a similar change from balance to ethnic nationalism on the Dolma entry. Adoption of the name in the Ottoman Empire does not indicate Turkic origin. 19:36, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

I think there is a total misconception, nothing reads in the article that it's Turkic origined just because the name is Turkish, or because it's adopted in the Ottoman era. The reasons are very clearly described in the article. Furthermore, the Azerbaijani baklava is not the origin, just the midway. You can also read through the discussion page to get a point of view. Thanks. --Chapultepec 21:49, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Simply because this is not the truth!!!I am repeating what I said above and did not see anything new which needs a counter argument? Byzantines as far as I know have never ever been in Circassian Region (in today's Azerbaijan, lets say Turkic Republics) where baklava and all familiar courses are well spread over! And yes etymology is important to explain the origines of things, at least it helps! Your vine leaves story is a saga!! There is no dolma in the Byzantine cuisine. By the way, although it would not be my main argument, it would be ridiculous to say that you kept Dimitri, Yannis, Anastasia but were not able to keep the Byzantine word used for DOLMA!!! Why does it sound nationalist to you?? Cause etymology disturbs you. But it does matter and you have no right to challenge that if it has become widespread under that word all over the world! Rather think about how or why???

Greeks adopted layered dough style before the Ottoman Empire BUT through the Turks who came to settle in Asia Minor before 1071. Actually these were Byzantine Emperors who first gave land to Turks (Pecheneks and some other branches as well) in Anatolia. Turks brought oklava, sac and "layered dough style" from Central Asia. That's why you can find all on the migration route of Turks!!! The world and all writers including your references admit that. Some nationalist Greeks, among which the most famous one is also referred to in the main article (Vryonis, the one who associated baklava with a sweet which does not contain dough!), turns out to be contradicting with himself when claiming that sac and oklava (rolling pins) were primitif instruments and claiming that Baklava was of Byzantine origin at the same time!!! Cause it was through these primitif instruments people started to roll out dough and bake them!!! Perry and Halici refuted your theses thousands years ago!

Last point, that was Cyprus who dared to apply for registration of baklava as a Chpriot(?) dessert, at which, to be frank, we died of laughing! Who are the ethnic nationalist who keep making noise, think about that as well! --Z yTalk 12:49, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Um, hello ladies and gentlemen. It's a FOOD item, plain and simple. Granted, it's a DELICIOUS food item (I'm eating a piece right now!), but during this whole pi&^ing contest that you're having regarding who gets to claim it, the article its self is going to hell in a handcart. Wikipedia is NOT an arena for debates, it's an open-edit web-based encyclopedia. Let's put the facts before the fluff here, and get with the program... Edit Centric (talk) 05:55, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Inaccurate pictures

Second picture should be removed from the page as it is not baklava.--Z yTalk 00:17, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

I wouldn't call that an "inappropriate" picture, simply an inaccurate one. No matter, I've replaced it with an updated one of the actual subject of this page. (Of course, I had to eat at least one more piece after having plated it!) Edit Centric (talk) 07:56, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

    In Turkey baklava is not "typically" served with whipped cream and pistachios. 
    It's too elaborate. In fact I've never been served such a plate neither at pastry shops or home visits. 
    I suggest the sentence to be changed as "A fancier way of serving baklava is with whipped cream and pistachios" or removed completely.

I agree with the anon user above. If you believe that "In Turkey, baklava is typically served with whipped cream and pistachios." , you are insane. Whipped cream is only used in non-traditional cakes and pastries in Turkey. It has nothing to do with baklava. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kavunkarpuz (talkcontribs) 03:51, 30 July 2010 (UTC)


I think "chopped walnuts or pistachios" is not quite precise. Writing simply "nuts" could be better. In Greece for example I have not come across baklava made with walnuts (which doesn't mean that they don't exist) but I ate many baklavadakia (diminutive) made with hazelnuts or almonds.

Um, I mean "too precise". — Preceding unsigned comment added by Borzas (talkcontribs) 08:22, 10 September 2008

Deletion of information

I don't know how many WP article's you have seen, but having names in different pertinent languages is one of the best advantages of WP over the rest of encyclopedias ... It is just a great tradition of WP ...

If I were somebody reading the article and finding out about the unclear etymology of the word, I'd be very interested in knowing how it is in the different langauges. Removing this iformation is unjustified. I understand the ulterior motives behind it (but don't respect them), however, I still don't see under which official claim you have removed this inforamtion. The excuse "wikipedia is not a dictionary" sounds to me like coming out from somebody who hasn't seen a wp article before. HD1986 (talk) 02:48, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

You might want to review the history of this article. I am Greek, yet it was I who added the language and the reliable sources which indicate that baklava is probably of central Asian Turkic origin with further development in the kitchens of Topkapi palace. So if you think my "ulterior motives" have something to do with national feeling, you are mistaken. And please do review WP:CIVIL and WP:AGF before making such accusations.
As for giving the Greek and Arabic forms in the header, that is not particularly useful towards establishing the etymology, which is discussed at length further in the article (again, I was the one who added this content and the reliable sources). If you look at the history of the article a bit more, you will also find that there was an escalating tendency to include the name of baklava in all the region's languages (Armenian, Albanian, Serbian, etc. etc.), which helps no one. But Wikipedia is not a dictionary (multilingual or otherwise), but an encyclopedia.
As for your claim that I'm not familiar with WP, I have about 23x as many edits as you have and have been contributing for almost four years. --macrakis (talk) 04:26, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

The Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not a dictionary regards another issue than we're talking about, have you taken a look in it?

My initial point still stands, you have no legal ground for the removal of that information. You talk about an escalating tendency, well, Turkish and Arabic are two suggested origins of the word Baklava in the article, but not Armenian, Albanian, or Serbian. It would be very useful for a reader to know how the word is in these two languages. I think edits should be focused on adding vital information to the article that may help readers out rather than taking out such information. HD1986 (talk) 06:16, 8 October 2008 (UTCI think the [[WP:Wi

WP:NOT and Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not a dictionary are pretty explicit. Wikipedia articles are about the concept and only tangentially about the word. Of course the history of baklava is related to the history of words for baklava, and sure enough, there is a section on that. However, I don't see why it's useful to have the Greek, Turkish, and Arabic names for baklava in the opening paragraph -- and if your criterion is origin, I haven't seen any serious source claiming that the word is Arabic or Greek. Yes, Greek, Turkish, and Arab baklava are famous, but so are Armenian, Serbian, and Albanian baklava in their own regions.... And characterizing the Arabic name of baklava as "vital" seems a bit melodramatic. --macrakis (talk) 22:54, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

I have looked into several Arabic sources, and they all agree that this word is not Arabic. However, this doesn't mean that the paragraph doesn't talk about a suggested Arabic origin of the word, so the Arabic word for Baklava is vital in this context. Your recent edits have just made the section sound less professional than it was. HD1986 (talk) 02:00, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Could you be more specific? --macrakis (talk) 20:29, 12 October 2008 (UTC)


No: 3. Esther Brunner, "A sweet journey: Güllüoğlu baklava" Turkish Daily News, June 14, 2008 - I could not reach the article? Could someone help? --Z yTalk 13:21, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

I could find the google cached version of the article, here is the link. --Chapultepec (talk) 22:45, 13 November 2008 (UTC)


I think this article would benefit from a link to the wikibooks book with world cuisine recipes, but I'm not sure how to do this. Lord Spring Onion (talk) 18:51, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

There is already a {{cookbook}} link in the External links section. Or did you have something else in mind? --macrakis (talk) 20:56, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

Balaclava dabnote

Editors Letter 7 and Frotz have been adding a dabnote reading "For the piece of clothing, see Balaclava (clothing)." This conflicts with WP policy. WP:Disambiguation says:

Disambiguation in Wikipedia is the process of resolving conflicts in article titles that occur when a single term can be associated with more than one topic, making that term likely to be the natural title for more than one article. In other words, disambiguations are paths leading to different articles which could, in principle, have the same title.

It is quite clear from this that disambiguation is not intended for misspellings of terms: Baklava could not in principle have the title Balaclava. The policy also talks about variant spellings, such as honor/honour, but not about misspellings. And in any case, I don't think there's any evidence that balaclava is a common misspelling of baklava. --macrakis (talk) 22:59, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

Rather the opposite; I've heard people mispronounce the name of the garment as "baklava" countless times. This isn't necessarily a contradiction of your statement or of the reading of the policy in question, but rather a likely explanation for the edit. Atypicaloracle (talk) 16:09, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Baklava in Bosnia

The article as it is right now states "In Bosnia-Herzegovina baklava is generally rich in nuts and filling and is only eaten on special occasions, mostly during in the holy months of Ramadan and Eid." It is not referenced, and while I do not have any sources, I know for a fact that it is a pretty common dessert, certainly not eaten just during Ramadan and Eid. That doesn't make sense in any case because 2 of 3 ethnicities don't even observe Ramadan and Eid but eat Baklava nontheless. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:27, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

greek arabic etc.

there should be a translation of baklava in greek, arabic etc. since its well knowen there aswell. it says its unclear were it came from so its wrong to lable it as turkish —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:42, 12 September 2010 (UTC)


You know, as big as the page is, I think this could use a little more baklava. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:08, 21 November 2010 (UTC)


I've seen a few instances where this dessert is also referred to as a "buklava". Is that a simple misspelling, or an actual legitimate alternate spelling? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:40, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

Misspelling. --Macrakis (talk) 21:59, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

baklawa has exist befor the turk came to anatolia!

research thmem and dont believe the turks. they are lieing and please controle their source. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:44, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia relies on what WP:Reliable sources say not what people may think is the truth.--Peter cohen (talk) 03:09, 25 December 2011 (UTC)

Another non-neutral Turkish cultural propaganda article.

Its obvious this article has been hijacked by biased Turkophiles. This article may not be presented in a way to make it look "Turkish" and from the beginning already that's how its written. To begin with I will remove the "Ottoman Turkish" in the introduction - it does not serve any purpose other than try to guide the reader to a Turkish direction. If you want to include this, then you must include every language. Secondly, Perry's article is not "proof" or "strong evidence" that Baklava originated in Central Asia - I will address this later. Thinkfood (talk) 23:02, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

Dear Thinkfood, please start by assuming good faith rather than saying things like "this article has been hijacked by biased Turkophiles". After some years of looking, Perry's article is the most solid that any of us editors (Greeks, Turks, Armenians, etc.) have been able to find. Note that Vryonis's comments are already referenced in the article -- and Perry addresses Vryonis's comments. It would be great if we had other reliable sources (whatever they say, and whether they agree with Perry, with Vryonis, or neither) on the history of baklava, and I look forward to any you might be able to supply. --Macrakis (talk) 02:03, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

Among several reasons, one reason Perry's article is flawed is because he mentions the "missing link" as "Azerbaijani Baku Baklava" - if he had any knowledge of history, he would have steered clear of mentioning Azerbaijan. 1. The Turkish Azerbaijan country is not a historical country, nor culture, it is a result of a mixture of various Muslims of the Caucasus, including Kurds, Persians, Turks and a dozen other nationalities many of which were Iranian, not "Turkic". Regardless, their Turkified identity is utterly irrelevant as a Turkic "missing link". 2. Armenians (as well as other nationalities) formed a prominent part of Baku culture before the 19th century and even up to the late 20th. Does Perry's research determine that the "missing link" was specifically by a Turkish Azeri? No. 3. So-called "Southern Azerbaijan" (A Turkish term for land aspirations from Iran) is supposedly inhabited by "Azeris". Although these Iranian Azeris got Turkified like their northern counterparts, their culture remained Iranian-Persian. This evidence is clear from their food, music, and religion which also influenced the present-day further Turkified Azerbaijan (the country). To make a long story short, the Soviet Union attempted to "unify" all its subject under one identity and this resulted in forcing the Armenians to "share" their culture and country with Azerbaijan. The point here is, Azerbaijan as both a people and culture are completely and utterly irrelevant to any discussion regarding food-origins. Thinkfood (talk) 23:07, 14 July 2012 (UTC)

Another reason; in claiming that Turkic people invented the idea of layering dough for Baklava, Perry bases his theory on his term "it is quite possible Turks invented layered bread". Ignoring the "quite possible" term here, there is apparently some evidence that in the 5th century a predecessor of lasagna existed called lagana in which dough was layered. from the pasta page: "An early 5th century cookbook describes a dish called lagana that consisted of layers of dough with meat stuffing, a possible ancestor of modern-day lasagna." - the key passage here is "dough was layered". Thinkfood (talk) 03:29, 15 July 2012 (UTC)
Hi Alessandro, I see you are also an editor in Baklava and reverted my edit. I wanted to discuss with you certain aspects of the article. Although the passage is referenced, the passage "there is strong evidence of Turkic origin" is simply not true. The writer, Perry first says that it is both claimed by Greeks and Turks, and then simply takes the side of the Turks. After pointing to the Greek claim, he says on this reference: "The Turkish claim, by contrast, can produce very suggestive evidence that the Nomadic Turks were making layered dough products as early as the 11th century." As you see, this is actually just a claim about layering dough. Later Perry admits: "I have speculated that the nomadic Turkish nations experimented with layering in order to vary a boring diet of thin breads, but it may be that they loved layering for its own sake." As you see, he admits to speculation with no solid proof, and yet we are only at the layering stage of dough. In fact if you check the pasta page layering dough has been known in the Mediterranean since the 5th century following the cited source for lasagna. My concern here is that this article is simply not neutral when many cultures claim baklava and we start with a questionable statement and incorrect interpretation of a cited source. I would like to write a better history section in this case, one that does not conclude the origin, but states both sides of the argument. I'll address this later, meanwhile you can tell me what you think. Regards Thinkfood (talk) 08:38, 15 July 2012 (UTC)
Hallo Thinkfood
the reason why I reverted your edit is that the affected sentence was sourced. One cannot change the meaning of a sentence or remove its content and at the same time keeping its reference. About your observations on Baklava (which i copied above), Perry does not speculate about the invention of the layered bread by the Turks, he just speculate about the reason why they did so, but this is totally unimportant. What stays firm according to the source is that there is evidence as early as in the 11th century that the Turks were baking layered bread, while below it is asserted that there is no source - Arab, Greek or Byzantine - that mention this specialty before the Ottoman Empire. This - according to me, who did not write the article - is a strong argument to exclude a Greek or Arab origin. Moreover, does Perry write about layered bread or layered dough? Laganum was made with fried dough, and has nothing to do with layered bread, which did not exist in the Roman cooking (as you maybe know, the Romans learned how to bake bread from the Greeks). About the "missing link", I notice only that syntactically Bakı paklavası is a Turkish term ("Baklava of baku"). To conclude, :-) if you are not convinced about what Perry writes and is reported in the article, you should find reliable sources which support your thesis and bring them here. Personally - but this is only my opinion - in order to look for an alternative origin, I would search not at west or south, but at east (Persia). Bye Alex2006 (talk) 13:01, 15 July 2012 (UTC)

Thinkfood, do you have a Reliable Source for the (extraordinary) claim that lasagna is the ancestor of baklava? Remember that Wikipedia is founded not on the opinions and arguments of editors, but on Reliable Sources. Of course, there is still room for discussing whether a given source is reliable or not, but not for long substantive arguments and counterarguments.

So far, as far as I can tell, we have not found a single reliable source claiming baklava as we know it predates the Ottoman period. In reviewing the introduction to the History section, I saw that it was not completely clear about this, so I have reorganized it a bit. Naturally, if we can antedate it, that would be great. --Macrakis (talk) 17:25, 15 July 2012 (UTC)

Hi Macrakis, maybe I wasn't that clear the first time, but I was trying to say, the two above quotes I gave are directly from the book. No where does the source say or suggest "there is strong evidence", and in fact later admits to speculation. As for Alessandro's comment "Perry does not speculate about the invention of the layered bread by the Turks, he just speculate about the reason why they did so" I don't understand what that means, he clearly states that he speculated that Turks "experimented with layering", and the reason is irrelevant for this discussion. In this case, if this source is to be used, the history should clearly state that it is a claim, and not present it as uncontested fact. I don't think it is right to pick and choose parts of an article to our liking, and ignore other parts. And a poorly-written article which has inconsistencies like Perry's is already on shaky ground. If I was to insert yet the same source from the same article, it would be counter-productive if we say something like "based on the 11th century Turkic layering of bread[source] which is also speculation[same source, different page]". As for lasagna, I never said lasagna is the ancestor of baklava, but it is clear that the idea may be, which disproves Perry's claim. The point here is that in order for Perry to establish his Turkic origin theory, he bases the baklava idea on his assumption that the Turkics invented the concept of layering dough or bread, and thus the idea of baklava was born. With this in mind, if the Turkics did not invent the idea of layering, then that theory is not true. That's why I was pointing out that dough was layered in the 5th century as opposed to the 11th century, some 600 years later. Thus we have layered dough, the concept, in the Mediterranean before any Turkic migrations. It simply cannot be argued as a reliable source when Perry starts his theory with (direct quote) "the Nomadic Turks were making layered dough products as early as the 11th century", when layered dough products existed in the Mediterranean in the 5th. I don't know how I could make this clearer. Thinkfood (talk) 04:49, 16 July 2012 (UTC)

I think that I did not explain myself well, so I try again. :-)

  • "The Turkish claim, by contrast, can produce very suggestive evidence that the Nomadic Turks were making layered dough products as early as the 11th century."

This means, we have proof that Turks (not Greeks, not Arabs) did layered dough in 11th century. Terminus ante quem for the Turks: 11th century. BTW: Terminus Ante Quem for the Romans: 3dr century BCE, with Cato the elder, who gives the recipe of Placenta, a layered dough cake made with flour, ricotta and honey.

  • "I have speculated that the nomadic Turkish nations experimented with layering in order to vary a boring diet of thin breads, but it may be that they loved layering for its own sake."

his speculation regards only the reason which moved the Turks to bake layered bread, but this is totally unimportant in this matter.

I hope that now is clear, otherwise we need a translator. :-)

As for the "strong evidence" if these are not words of Perry, I think that they should be removed. Alex2006 (talk) 06:03, 16 July 2012 (UTC)

I haven't checked the history but I'm told my book Siren Feasts was cited for the information that I "find no evidence for [baklava] in Arab, Greek, or Byzantine sources before the Ottoman period". This citation was not a proper use of Siren Feasts, which doesn't mention baklava and doesn't have any reason to. My intention in that book was not to look for forerunners to modern Greek and Turkish food (though it's a very interesting question) but principally to trace the history of ancient Greek food and gastronomy.
I personally think that ancient Greek cakes such as gastris resemble baklava. In The Classical Cookbook (1996 ed, pp. 80-81; new ed. 2012) Sally Grainger and I have published a recipe for gastris, based on Athenaeus, Deipnosophists 647f, which required lagana at top and bottom. But I say this only for information -- we do not mention baklava in the book. I also think very highly of Charles Perry's work. In general food history is very complicated, and to try to identify a single origin for any modern food tradition is probably unwise. Origins are multiple.
I'm told Claudia Roden (New Book of Middle Eastern Food, 2000, ISBN 0-375-40506-2) was also cited, again for the negative claim that she finds "no evidence for [baklava] in Arab, Greek, or Byzantine sources before the Ottoman period". If she has indeed looked, and found no evidence, and says so in the book, this would be a fair citation -- but it would be better to quote exactly what she says. Andrew Dalby 11:55, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
Hi Andrew, and thank you very much for coming here and posting. This article, Dolma and I'm sure others suffer at times from nationalistic battles, something I am trying to prevent (I'm one of the most experienced Wikipedia editors and an Administrator, although being an Administrator gives me no privileges in editing). Just as you didn't say what the article claimed you did, Roden simply said (paraphrased) "finds no evidence for it in medieval Persian or Arab sources and suggests it arrived in the region during the Ottoman period." Note the word 'medieval'.
I agree that finding the original source of a food is a pretty unwise thing to try to do. It's unfortunate that some of our articles attempt it.
I'll add for everyone that sources for this article need to discuss baklava/baklawa specifically. If they don't, we shouldn't be using them. So something that discusses layered dough but doesn't mention baklava doesn't belong in this article. As for Perry, he's clearly a reliable source so we can use him. We don't expect our sources to agree, and it's not up to us to judge which is better. Dougweller (talk) 12:40, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for your reply, Doug. I should add that I think this article is pretty well balanced. Perry has really done very good work on this and his conclusions deserve priority. Alongside him, Vryonis is a good source to cite for the view that ancient Greek cakes (e.g. gastris) have their influence on modern baklava. Andrew Dalby 18:32, 23 July 2012 (UTC)