One of the most famous kinds of Turkish desserts, and perhaps the most widely loved, has undergone a cruelty-free transformation to become vegan. The dessert in question is baklava, a sweet treat made of sweet multilayered flaky pastry, lots of butter, eggs and pistachios.
A pastry chef from the southeastern Turkish city of Gaziantep, the birthplace of the beloved baklava, has managed to give the traditional dessert a modern spin by opting for plant-based ingredients.
Ömer Çelebioğulları, a baklava expert, told Demirören News Agency (DHA) that his company had managed to produce vegan baklava that looks identical in color and presentation to the typical non-vegan classic. He said demand for the vegan baklava was soaring with new orders coming in every week.
Çelebioğulları said he was happy that people who don't consume animal products can now have a taste of this famous Turkish dessert.
He said after realizing that they had many vegetarian or vegan customers, they wanted to come up with an innovative solution.
"(In the vegan version) there is no butter; instead we use coconut oil. We don't add milk or eggs to the paste. Especially not using any eggs makes rolling out the dough quite difficult. We try to keep the paste as thin as possible and go about it carefully."
Making the vegan version is quite tiresome and it surely has its challenges when it comes to the pastry, but Çelebioğulları says in the end, it's all worth it.