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or some, Bougatsa is one of Greece’s greatest gifts to the culinary world –and rightly so. The traditional dessert with the delicious custard filling covered in layers of buttered, golden filo dough and sprinkled –at the very last minute– with icing sugar and cinnamon, is simply too good to resist. Yet, in northern Greece and especially in Thessaloniki, the term Bougatsa denotes more than a dessert, however exquisite; “The term actually relates to the crunchy filo pastry (rolled and stretched not with flour but with oil and vegetable butter) that is filled either with cream or cheese or other ingredients for a savory snack,” explains Ms Elsa Paitesa, Operations & Sales Manager at Saroglou, producers of quality traditional Greek pies. “However, the one with the creamy custard filling has been mostly linked to the moniker.” “A first type of Bougatsa was introduced in Greece after the Asia Minor Disaster, as

1

whether addressed to consumers or foodservice, Bougatsa is an ideal product for both distribution channels 2

‘the food of the poor’, because was only filo dough and without any filling. Since then, it has evolved into one of the most popular dishes not only for Greeks but also for tourists,” recounts Mr Konstantinos Arabatzis of Arabatzis – Hellenic Dough, among the most significant Greek frozen dough and pastry product manufacturers. Nowadays, the taste of the sweet version of Bougatsa and the one we will be dealing with here, varies between the different regions of Greece. For example, Bougatsa in Veria is very sweet and full of cream, while in Thessaloniki the filo pastry is crunchy and the filling not that sweet. One can safely deduce that Greek pastry and dough companies are masters in the making of Bougatsa and have created offerings that cater to both the retail and the foodservice sector. In fact, according to Mr Mimis Badawy, International Business Director of alfa pastry, one of the largest dough and pastry production companies in

1 The bougatsa recipe varies from one Greek region to another.

2 The secret of great Bougatsa lies in its buttery filo dough.

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