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Börek

Burek, Byurek, Byrek,Böregi,pasta,kahvalti,

Börek is a baked dish consisting of a savory or sweet filling wrapped in yufka – thinly stretched sheets of dough made with flour, water, and salt. Heartier than phyllo, but thinner than a tortilla, hand-made yufka is typically brushed with butter before baking.


Although many countries have their own versions of this satisfying dish, it was probably invented during the Ottoman Empire in the Anatolian Provinces, an area that nowadays belongs to Turkey. Some sources suggest that börek might be even older, a descendant of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Anatolian dish known as en tyritas plakountas, consisting of layered dough filled with cheese, its recipe dating back to 160 BC.


Nowadays, Turkey is famous for its layered pies and pastries, all united under the name börek (also burek, byurek, byrek, böregi). Regardless of many börek varieties, yufka always remains the same, and almost everything wrapped in it may be called börek, which could also explain the name: some suggest that it comes from the Turkish word bur, meaning to twist.


In Turkey, there are many regional variations of börek, and the names usually contain a descriptive word referring to the shape, ingredients, cooking method, or a region where the specific variety of börek comes from. For example, su böreği or water börek is made with boiled sheets of dough which are buttered and filled with a mixture of feta cheese and parsley (an alternative recipe suggests minced meat and onions), then baked. Kalem böregi or pen börek is a thin, cigarette-shaped variety that is often served in restaurants as an appetizer.


Due to their shape, they were originally called sigara böreği, but in 2011, Turkish pastry chefs started calling them kalem to avoid the connections with smoking. They are usually filled with feta cheese, potatoes, and parsley, but can also be enriched with minced meat or sausages, and vegetables such as spinach, nettles, leeks, and courgettes. Paçanga böreği is a deep-fried variety from Istanbul, filled with pastırma or kaşar and chopped green peppers. Saray böreği or palace börek is a truly decadent version made with fresh butter rolled between each sheet of dough, while kol böreği or arm börek is the classic variety prepared at home – shaped in long rolls, either rounded or lined, it is usually filled with minced meat, feta cheese, spinach, or potatoes (it’s smaller and fattier variety is called sarıyer böreği, named after Sarıyer, a district of Istanbul where it is traditionally prepared).


The most beautiful variety might be gül böreği or rose börek, arranged in a spiral that resembles a rose filled with various fillings which are often spicy in flavor. Çiğ börek or raw börek is a half-moon-shaped variety filled with raw minced meat and fried in oil.


On the other hand, there is also töbörek – a similar variety which is baked instead of fried. However, börek doesn’t have to be savory – a sweet variety called laz böreği is prepared in the Rize region. It is filled with muhallebi (a local spin on custard) and served generously dusted with powdered sugar.


Another sweet variety is called kürt böreği, also known as sade, meaning plain börek, referring to the fact that it has no filling at all, just a generous layer of powdered sugar on top. Seeing all these varieties, it is clear that börek may be one of the most significant dishes of the Turkish cuisine – it surely is one of the oldest and most traditional ones.