Turkish baklava is in a field by itself, standing alone on the integrity of its phyllo pastry and filling, and using no additional flavorings such as the cinnamon, rosewater or lemon juice that are used in other regional versions of the confection. “Turkish baklava is the most pristine form of the pastry,” said Nick Malgieri, director of the baking program at the Institute of Culinary Education, a cooking school in Manhattan.

“The pistachios are so aromatic that they don’t require any other embellishments.” Greek baklava combines walnuts with honey and cinnamon, for example, while Lebanese baklava often includes lemon juice and rosewater. Indeed, Gaziantep pistachios are so prized that their name, fistik, is slang for “hot babe.” Pistachios are picked in August,
one month earlier than usual, when they are higher in protein and fat, and their color is bright green, rather than yellow-green.

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