What are these Greek cheese pies with honey called?
July 30, 2016 2:41 PM   Subscribe

When I was in Crete recently, the owner of our B&B made us some delicious cheese pies. I would like to know what they are called so I can find a recipe. They were each slightly larger than a pack of cards, made from pastry (I don't think it was filo, but maybe) folded over some sort of soft salty cheese like feta or similar. It looked like they were deep fried or shallow fried in a lot of oil or butter. They were piled in a bowl and drizzled with heated honey. The B&B owner served them with rakomelo and said that was traditional for these pies.

Nothing I've found on google looks right, as they are either much larger, or have other ingredients like onion, spinach, or chives in the pie, which this didn't, or they have sugar in the filling, and I'm sure this didn't either. Or I'm finding things that look a lot flakier than these were. If the pastry was filo, it wasn't very flaky or layered like I'm used to. It seemed softer, like more of a shortcrust pastry, but I might be misremembering, or it might be just because it was soaked in the honey.

I haven't found any reference on Google to pies traditionally served with rakomelo, which I thought would be the thing that would make it easiest to find.

Obviously I could just try to reverse engineer them without a recipe, since they seemed quite simple, but I'd still like to know what they are called if anyone knows.
posted by lollusc to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Maybe Borek? I did a search for raki, not rakomelo.
posted by cabingirl at 2:49 PM on July 30, 2016

Were they possibly bougatsa?
posted by fifthrider at 2:49 PM on July 30, 2016

Just realized that link doesn't show the sweet ones but you could search for borek with honey and see more.
posted by cabingirl at 2:50 PM on July 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

Did it look like this?
posted by fingersandtoes at 2:57 PM on July 30, 2016

posted by Gneisskate at 3:06 PM on July 30, 2016 [2 favorites]

posted by vrakatar at 3:09 PM on July 30, 2016

Best answer: Maybe Kalitsounia?
posted by booky at 3:12 PM on July 30, 2016 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Definitely not borek or galaktoboureko because I was familiar with those already and would have recalled what she called them if it was a word I knew. (Also they are very different from galaktoboureko).

Not bougatsa as they were totally sealed up.

They looked pretty much like the link fingersandtoes gives, without the sesame seeds. That doesn't give a name though.

I think they might be kalitsounia, based on that Wikipedia description. But the photos I've found by a Google images search don't look quite right. I guess there are regional variants, though. We were in Chania.
posted by lollusc at 3:57 PM on July 30, 2016

posted by essexjan at 4:40 PM on July 30, 2016

Best answer: Coming at it from a different angle, have you tried tracking down a number for the b&b?
posted by willnot at 4:59 PM on July 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

The Greek blogger who provided the recipe I linked to above said they're referred to as feta tulihti se filo and that does bring up several more versions.
posted by fingersandtoes at 5:45 PM on July 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

Funnily enough, I was just watching a tv show today where they talked about Greek cheese saganaki. Saganaki is usually Kefalotiri or Kasseri cheese (you can substitute Halloumi or Sheeps milk feta) cut up, dredged in flour and then fried in oil or butter (though sometimes they are cooked in phylo instead of just dredged in flour.) Doing some googling around, I see that one variation of saganaki is served with honey, so that sounds like what you are describing.
posted by gudrun at 7:22 PM on July 30, 2016

Response by poster: Fingersandtoes, that literally just means "feta wrapped in filo", which, you know, is close enough to what I had, but I'm pretty sure the landlady called them by a one-word name that I didn't recognise.

It wasn't saganaki inside, gudrun. I'm familiar with saganaki and this cheese was much softer. I really think they must have been a variant on kalitsounia, but as someone above suggested, I'm going to contact the B&B and ask! I will update if I get a reply.
posted by lollusc at 7:31 PM on July 30, 2016 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Success! I just received this reply to my email:

In Crete, the cheese we call kaltsounia .The kaltsounia in Chania putting fresh cheese from goats or sheep ( the cheese we call mizithra) and in yeast use other than water a little olive oil and juice of one orange and flour.
posted by lollusc at 12:22 AM on July 31, 2016 [9 favorites]

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