In Turkey, baklava is a welcome sweet treat for all occasions, from dinners to weddings, meetings and holidays.
The Middle Eastern dessert of stacks of filo pastry, layered with chopped pistachios, soaked in a sugary syrup glisten in trays showcased in sparkly shop windows lining Istanbul's main thoroughfares. But with a myriad of choices, how do you know you've found the real deal?
We spoke to Salih Yilmaz at Karaköy Güllüoğlu, one of Istanbul's oldest and most famous destinations for baklava, where a team of 150 bakers makes some of the finest baklava in town, from classic to chocolate and gluten-free to diabetic, from dawn to dusk.
"Proper baklava shouldn’t be sickly sweet or fattening" reveals a smiling Salih, "I eat them every day, we all do here" and his waistline shows no giveaway signs of his 17-year career at the store. After all, "there’s lots of protein with the nuts" he reminds us.
One bite of this real baklava and it's easy to nurture a baklava a day habit. Here's how to spot the best baklava:
Baklava should be bright yellow and shiny in appearance.
The perfect baklava should smell and taste of butter.
Freshly made baklava should be crisp and crunch when you break into them with a fork.
Baklava is made of 40 layers of pastry – known as yufka – each sheet is rolled so thin that you can read a newspaper through it.
The pistachios should be of the highest quality – selected and of one size.
Baklava should never drip syrup when picked up or sliced into. A tray of baklava should be dry, without a gathered puddle or pool syrup. Likewise, a slice of baklava should not leak syrup onto your plate.
The sugar syrup (never honey) should also not be too sweet.
Baklava should keep for 15 to 20 days made without honey, although they are best on the day they are made.
Baklava should be eaten upside down – in two mouthfuls – putting the buttery pastry at the roof of the mouth making it the first thing tasted.
Each mouthful of baklava should be chewed up 5 to 6 times.
Enjoy baklava with fresh lemonade or Turkish black tea – anytime the desire takes you, from morning through to night!
The BBC went to visit, here's a look inside.