I approach request to make ethnic food with trepidation. Â Not only may the food not match the palette of the others in my office with traditional preferences but a failed dish can become an affront to another culture or a modification I make can be seen as a sign of American cultural imperialism. Â This concern went out the window when a pretty lady said she wished someone would make baklava. Â I can be that someone.
So, I set to combining nuts, honey, and filo dough in alternating layers whose arrangement can induce a form of trance and threw it in the oven for 25 minutes. Â What came out looked like baklava based on a Google image search and Max and I both found itÂ palatable. Â Pieces disappeared at a reasonable rate at work and I was pulled aside by a coworker.
Her: Terry, that’s pretty good baklava. Â I’ve traveled around the middle east, and yours isn’t far off.
Me: Thank you.
Her: Well, it’s not as good as [other coworkers] but you know what they say about Egyptian bakers. *Winks at me*
Looks like my concerns about subtle stereotyping were blown away by the actual kind.