While in Turkey I enjoyed traditional desserts like baklava, but I learned to eat them in an nontraditional way. Did you know there was baklava etiquette in Istanbul?
My friend Fatih took me to Karaköy Güllüoğlu, the famous baklava sweet shop in Karaköy. There you’ll find cases and cases of freshly made trays of baklava in different sizes and flavors to temp your sweet tooth. My personal favorite I quickly became addicted to was the chocolate baklava.
Fatih and I got an assortment of baklava, and I was poised to dig in when he said, “Do you know there is a proper way to eat baklava that brings out the most flavor of the dessert?” I hesitated and was torn with simply shoving it into my mouth and trying to slow down and learn about this intriguing fact that he dangled out in front of me. The dangling worked—I chose to put my fork down and learn more.
He told me to place the bottom side of the baklava (the gooey side) into my mouth so that it's at the roof of my mouth. Then let it sit there for a moment before starting to chew—a test of patience. This tasting ritual sounded a bit like tasting wine, and I decided to give it a go. I let the gooeyness dance at the roof of my mouth for a moment before I finished it off. The result was wonderful!
However, I think it would have tasted wonderful regardless. But I continued to try to slow down and eat my baklava the "proper" way.