You’ll have to forgive my excitement, but it’s my first one. I’ve gotten so used to seeing all those little zeroes at the bottom of the posts, I never check for them. This one came from a good friend (and world-class chef) by the name of Tim Coonan, in regard to the (possible) Arab origins of puff pastry. He writes:
You made me think of a time in Seville when an Israeli woman made me a pastry out of water, flour, margarine (I forgave her for that), sugar and cinnamon. She folded the fat into the dough and turned it several times, just like puff pastry. After a few turns she began to sprinkle in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. What she ended up with when she cut and baked it were vertical palmiers. I recall them being a real treat. I truly think that most European foods, if they were fully traced, would be found to have originated in the Middle East.
For an outstanding exploration of the topic (not to mention some very fine recipes), you couldn’t do better than this book by Clifford Wright. Oh, and palmiers, by the way, are these guys.