Monday, July 28, 2008
Baklava in Ethiopia? --More Food for Thought
My brother went out for Ethiopian food this past weekend. Being a sick and shut-in for the summer, I made him tell me every single thing he put in his mouth to appease my desire for some virtual masala in my life.
Everything sounded absolutely delicious and I swore I'd be heading to Dahlak Restaurant in West Philly as soon as possible. But here's the thing. My little brother mentioned that for dessert he ordered Baklava. I laughed. "Why Baklava at an Ethiopian restaurant?" thinking it was a random item to place on the menu. But my bro argued that Baklava in Ethiopia is not that much of a stretch given the proximity to the Middle East. Still I doubted. It just didn't sound right. Not that I'm an expert on Ethiopian food stuffs, but what I do know, doesn't seem very linked to Middle Eastern cuisine.
A quick internet search shows that indeed Baklava appears on many Ethiopian restaurant menus. But I can't find an explanation about how this sweet, flaky pastry made its way to Ethiopia. In what form and with what variations? Do Ethiopians eat a lot of Baklava in Ethiopia or is this an American perversion, like the Chinese fortune cookie?
Does anybody know? It's a meltingpot mystery I'd love to solve.