The Greek Pita Pie
Everybody has a favorite Greek pita pie, or two or three, because the choice of fillings, both savory and sweet, is almost endless creating a tasty treat wrapped in layers of buttered, filo dough.
The traditional pita pie has a special place on the daily Greek table. It is sometimes savory, sometimes sweet, with sheet dough or not, almost always baked in the oven and, less frequently, fried. The word appears in Greece in the Middle Ages. Pita also refers to a type of round, unleavened flatbread (pita with slouvaki, pita with gyro).
All varieties of pita pies are made throughout Greece. Traditionally, in the countryside, seasonal vegetables, greens or mushrooms are used to make delicious, homemade pita pies, with spinach or wild mountain greens or a combination of mushrooms and onions, with or without feta cheese and eggs.
Some of the most famous savory pies are made with cheese, potato, spinach, leeks, onions and even chicken, beef and ham. The traditional dough is thicker and, in the villages, many homemakers make their own dough.
Tempting sweet pita pies include apple, cherry, sweet milk, orange, walnut, yellow pumpkin, chocolate and melon.
Not to be missed is the bougatsa with its flaky crust and delicious sweet cream filling sprinkled with powdered sugar, cinnamon or cheese. Especially popular in Northern Greece and introduced by the Greeks of Asia Minor, the bougatsa of Serres and Thessaloniki is especially known for its authenticity and sumptuous taste.
With so many fillings, there are also many shapes. Cut in squares, bite-size squares, like an open or sealed envelope, flower-shaped and the ‘strifti’ twisted pita of Skopelos.