Boyoz: A Sephardic Jewish pastry from Turkey's west
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULDec 24, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Dec 24, 2016 12:00 am
In the late 15th century, İzmir, formerly known as "Smyrna" welcomed Sephardic Jewish immigrants following their expulsion from Spain. The group brought their food culture to the city, one of them, "boyoz," remains a local favorite to this day. The pastry takes its name from "bollos," which means "small loves" in Ladino. The pastry is also consumed in other countries with a Spanish population, like Chile, Peru and Mexico.
A traditional taste, notably associated with İzmir, boyoz is made of flour, sunflower oil and tahini. Additional fillings like meat, cheese or spinach are also used. An essential part of breakfast, it is generally eaten beside a hard-boiled egg, sprinkled with salt and black pepper and a glass of strong Turkish tea.
In İzmir, pastry shops that made the best boyoz were owned by Jewish bakers like the late Master Avram. Today, many shops in the city sell the food, which has become a popular local takeaway for breakfast.
The next time you visit İzmir, make sure to ask for boyoz during breakfast. In November, this special pastry is marked with its very own "Boyoz Days," which are expected to continue next year as well.How to make boyoz: The mixture is kneaded by hand and the ball of paste is left to repose for two hours. The tahini used in the dough not only increases the nutrient value of Boyoz, but also helps the dough to rise in layers and helps digestion. The scent of tahini also provides a unique flavor.