An assortment of stuffed phyllo pastries, better-known as börek, has been adopted and adapted across the Balkan region from its native Turkey, to encompass variations of all shapes, sizes and flavours. From meat-filled to vegetable stuffed, it can often be found rolled up like a cigar, folded into triangular parcels or laid out in sheets and cut to size.
When Ms Marmite Lover visited the Börek Centre in Istanbul, she came across another version, called su böregi, or water börek. “Inside it felt a lot like lasagne -the phyllo pastry was very briefly cooked in water and then they outside was the same phyllo pastry baked to be crispy, wrapping it all up. Crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside.” The su böregi, is prepared by boiling the phyllo sheets before stuffing and baking them. Parsley is often added with soft cheese to make it buttery and soft on the inside.
Pasta is pastry
“It gave me an understanding of the route of pasta.” Kerstin continued “Pasta came through the silk road from China and pasta is just flour and water which makes a paste, which is dried and then we cook and eat it or you can have it fresh and then you cook it very quickly in water. But also pasta is pastry- it’s the same thing. It was a kind of silk road moment for me, where I understood the same very simple ingredients could make lots of different things.”