Are you someone who can say NO to dessert? Are you like some who prefer a bag of chips to something sweet? Well, for better or for worse, I just can’t! No matter how full after a meal I am, I have a separate part that needs a sugar hit at the end of a satisfying meal, and indulging her keeps my sweet tooth happy! Dark chocolate truffles…ooooooh! Macarons with tangy fillings…another ooooooh, and this can go on and on! Some Indian sweets have me drooling at the very thought of them. In the absence of good ones nearby, I’ve developed a huge liking for Middle-Eastern ones, specially Lebanese sweets and pastries, that are easily obtainable. In my quest for the finest, there’s one thing I’ve learnt, that there’s baklava, and then there’s the mouth-drooling, soul-satifying kind! The difference?
Check out this picture! Look again — the freshness comes across even in a photograph! The layers of phyllo, with the topmost layer rising just right, with a shining texture. At the base are coarsely ground nuts, powdered pistachio for decoration, and the moist look from honey conjures words like luscious, delectable, toothsome, ambrosial, and just plain delicious…or simply, delish, in present day parlance! Any baklava that doesn’t quite bring up the same emotion, isn’t worth the plate it’s served on…
Where I found this above piece is a story in itself! Always on a lookout for high quality gourmet foods, and noticing a Lebanese Patisserie* delivery truck parked outside a café, and noting the excellent quality of the waiting-to-be-delivered wares on the sidewalk, I asked the driver for a list of his clients where I might procure these creations. From his information, went into Presse Café on Berri Street in Montreal, and asked for a piece of the freshly delivered baklava. Well worth every bit of the time spent and effort made! The good man also told me that if I ever wanted bulk quantities, the place to go is Marché al Mizan, at the corner of St. Mathieu and de Maisonneuve streets in Downtown Montreal. Will certainly visit them the next time the sweet tooth bites ;)! If you don’t live in or around Montreal, I hope the above will send you on a quest of your own to find the perfect baklava!
*Patisserie is pastry, or a pastry shop in French! Do you agree with me that pastry doesn’t sound half as tasty and sexy as patisserie? There’s something about the French language that just IS… :)! In fact Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the USA and a Francophile** and oenophile***, said: “Every man has two countries – his own, and France!” Phew – thank you for that Mr. Jefferson…now I can claim France as my own, too!
**A Francophile is a lover of everything French, the country, the culture etc. ***An oenophile is a lover and/or a connoisseur of wine and the culture surrounding it