This article attempts to provide a description of the many types of assorted baklava pieces encountered today.
A description is given for each of traditional baklava, Borma, Basma, Ballorieh, Asabi (Fingers), Bokaj, Basima, Kol Weshkor (Roses), Iswara (Bracelets), and Ish El Bolbol (Bird’s Nest).
Assorted baklava, also referred to as Arabic sweets, Middle Eastern sweets, or Lebanese sweets in the Middle East comprises of a large variety of sweets, all made from nuts filled dough. Even though the traditional baklava, in its original form, consisting of roasted nuts sandwiched between fine layers of phyllo dough is the most popular in the western world, it is one of the least favored type among the rest in the eastern world.
Below is a description of each type:
Original baklava: Roasted pistachios, walnuts, or a mix of pine nuts kernels and cashews sandwiched between fine layers of pastry dough.
Borma: The Arabic word “Borma” is derived from an Arabic word that means “round”. It is named as such because of its round shape. It is made of crunchy strings of dough twisted around either chopped pistachios or a mix of pine nuts kernels and cashews. It is one of the sweetest types of baklava.
Basma: Special Lebanese Kenafeh dough covering from top and bottom a mixture of pine nuts kernels and cashews.
Ballorieh: The word Ballorieh is derived from an Arabic word that means “glow”. It is named as such because of its glowing white color. A pistachio filling sandwiched between two layers of stringy dough crust. It is the favorate type of baklava among pistachio lovers.
Asabi (Fingers): Asabi is the Arabic word for “Fingers”. It is named as such because of its shape that resembles a person’s fingers. It is made of pistachios or a blend of pine kernels and cashews filled inside pastry dough rolled in the shape of fingers.
Bokaj: Either pistachios or a mix of pine nuts kernels and cashews nested inside pastry dough in the shape of a bird’s nest.
Basima: The Arabic word “Basima” is derived from an Arabic word that means “smile”. It is made of kenafeh dough covering from top and bottom semi-chopped pistachios then baked and topped with almonds, pistachios, and pine nuts. It is considered the richest among all types of baklava.
Kol Weshkor (Roses): “Kol Weshkor” is Lebanese for “Taste and be Thankful”. It is made of either pistachios or a mix of pine nuts kernels and cashews filled inside pastry dough.
Iswara (bracelets): The word “Iswara” is the Lebanese word for “bracelet”. It is made of either crushed pistachios or a mix of crushed pine nuts kernels and cashews filled inside pastry dough and rolled in a circular shape resembling a bracelet.
Ish El Bolbol: “Ish El Bolbol” is Lebanese for “bird’s nest”. It is made of stringy dough wrapped around either pistachios or pine nuts kernels and lightly fried.
The above list can come as a surprise to people who are only familiar with the classic baklava also called original baklava. Original baklava has become popular in the western world for many years now, but the rest of the assorted baklava family members have been just recently introduced in the United States.