Today I am going to write to you about one of my favorite snacks. It’s called Bougatsa and according to the legend, Bougatsa originates from a northern city in of Greece called Serres.
As you will see, my blog post tonight is not aimed at providing you with a recipe. It’s rather an attempt to show you that Greece is not only about Mousakas and Souvlaki, but it has a huge variety of different tastes and ingredients. Use it as a road map to Greek tastes, so next time you are in Greece you will be able to eat something other than the usual tourist dishes.
I guess there is something of a history between me and Serres. Although it’s 700km from Athens I have been there at least a thousand times. First it was the race circuit that caught my attention. You see, one of my hobbies (apart from cooking and traveling) is motorcycle racing, and Serres has the only decent racetrack in Greece.
The second thing that totally got my attention was a tall beautiful blond woman. My love and wife Sotiria. It was during one of those trips to Serres that we met. I was eating and chatting with my friends in a nice tavern when I suddenly saw her turning around a corner and walking towards me. That was it. Love at first sight.
The third was eating the real Bougatsa. I say the real Bougatsa because you can find Bougatsa everywhere in Greece but you haven’t really tasted a Bougatsa unless you have eaten one in Serres. Pure Magic! And the taste becomes even better if you eat the Bougatsa together with cold cacao milk.
Technically Bougatsa is a paper-thin stretched raw dough. So when you ask for a Bougatsa you must specify the filling you want. The most usual fillings are: feta cheese, semolina custard cream, ground beef and spinach with feta cheese mix -but the truth is you can eat Bougatsa with almost anything as filling. The sky is the limit. I have even seen Bougatsa with carbonara filling. The stretched dough is crispy with a mild salty taste. Although it sounds simple, every Bougatsa shop has its own recipe and as you can imagine, the recipe is kept secret and goes from father to son. One other fascinating thing about Bougatsa is the stretching of the dough. Below you can see a small video on how the stretching is done.
The best way to eat a Bougatsa is hot, right out of the oven and cut into small serving pieces. If you choose it with semolina custard cream then they will serve it to you with powder sugar and cinnamon on top.
So next time you are in Greece try to order a Bougatsa. I am sure you will be delighted.