Turkey. Oh sure, we Americans think of it as a German thing. Some of us might be a bit more precise and call it Austrian instead. The reason for that is because the best known strudel in America is apple strudel, and that’s something of a Central European specialty.
Venture outside German-speaking Europe however and you find strudels of many other types. Looking south and east, the Hungarians have them, so do the Slovenians, Croats, Serbs, Albanians, Bulgarians, the list goes on. What do all these locales have in common? They were once (in whole or in part) provinces of the Ottoman Empire, the seat of which was a little further south and east, in Istanbul (not Constantinople), Turkey.
Do the Turks have strudel? Not exactly, or at any rate not that I’m aware of. However they do have paper-thin filo dough, which is the basis of both baklava and strudel. And they spread that stuff around quite a bit in the middle centuries of the last millennium. Not all the way up into modern-day Germany and Austria of course. There was another competing empire up that way in those day, one which I’ll discuss a bit more in the next post.