The Curious Case Of Bodega Borekas

Not long ago, the bodega on the corner near my apartment here in Windsor Terrace changed owners. The new owners started selling these intriguing stuffed pastries, displaying them in the same case as the standard Boar’s Head meats and cheeses. Ever since I noticed them I was intrigued by them, but it wasn’t until recently that I thought to ask one of the owners if they made the pastries themselves. “My Aunt makes them,” was the reply. She makes three varieties: beef, cheese and spinach. The owner told me that they were traditional Middle Eastern foods, and I realized they were a variety of boreka. A boreka is a stuffed pastry which I became very familiar with back in 1999 when I was in Israel. I ate dozens of borekas while I was there, freshly fried and filled with molten hot salty cheese. These appeared to be baked rather than fried, but they were basically the same thing. I ordered a spinach and a cheese, and the bodega owner warmed them up for me in the microwave to take home with me. The cheese one was very good, filled with a crumbly, salty white cheese and diced onions. But the spinach one was phenomenal. The spinach is roughly chopped and cooked with onions and a lot of lemon. The dough is soft and chewy, making for an easy hand-held snack. I’ve since been back for the spinach borekas a few times, and they’re always great. I don’t want to say exactly which bodega it is, because I doubt that the owner’s Aunt is making them in a commercial kitchen and I don’t want them to get in trouble with the DOH. My roommate, who is also a big fan of the spinach pies, thinks that the borekas aren’t actually made by an Aunt, they just use the story to make the pastries seem homemade. I, however, choose to believe.

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2 Responses to The Curious Case Of Bodega Borekas

  1. erinfae says:

    oh gosh! which bodega? what corner?

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