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Burekas

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800px-Potato bourekas.jpg

In Israel, bourekas can be found made from either phyllo dough or puff pastry filled with various fillings. Among the most popular fillings are salty cheese, mashed potato, mushrooms, spinach, eggplant and pizza-flavor. Most bourekas in Israel are made with margarine-based doughs, rather that butter-based doughs so that can be eaten along with either milk meals or meat meals in accordance with the kosher prohibition against mixing milk and meat at the same meal.

Israeli bourekas come in several shapes and are often sprinkled with seeds. The shapes and choice of seeds are usually indicative of their fillings and have become fairly standard among small bakeries and large factories alike.

Salty cheese-filled bourekas are usually somewhat flat triangles with white sesame seeds on top. Less salty cheese-filled are semi-circular and usually made with puff pastry. Potato-filled are sesame topped, flat squares or rectangles made with phyllo and tend to be less oily than most other versions. Spinach-filled are made with a very delicate, oily phyllo dough shaped into round spirals. Mushroom-filled are bulging triangles with poppy seeds. Tuna-filled are bulging triangles with nigella seeds. Eggplant-filled are cylindrical with nigella seeds. Bean sprout-filled are cylindrical without seeds. Bourekas with a pizza sauce are often round spirals rising toward the middle or sometimes cylindrical without seeds, differentiated from the bean sprout-filled cylinders without seeds, by the red sauce oozing out the ends. Bourekas can also be found with mashed chickpeas, tuna and chickpea mix, pumpkin and even small cocktail frankfurters.

Bourekas come in small, "snack" size, often available in self-service bakeries, and sizes as large as four or five inches. The larger ones can serve as a snack or a meal, and can be sliced open, and stuffed with hard-boiled egg, pickles, tomatoes and skhug, a spicy Yemenite paste. Supermarkets stock a wide selection of frozen raw-dough bourekas ready for home baking. Bakeries and street vendors dealing exclusively in bourekas can be found in most Israeli cities. Small coffee-shop type establishments as well as lottery and sports betting parlors serving bourekas and coffee can also be found.

In recent years, Israelis have become aware of the high fat (especially trans-fat) content of bourekas leading many to question the dangers associated with their consumption.

Bourekas have given their name to Bourekas films, a peculiarly Israeli genre of comic melodramas or tearjerkers based on ethnic stereotypes.

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References

Börek, en.wikipedia.org

BUREKAS, www.mfa.gov.il

Making Meat Burekas, www.rhodesjewishmuseum.org