Imagine something that is very much like my mushroom pie, just a lot bigger and stuffed with cheese instead of mushrooms. Now heat it up, cut it half-open, so you've got a pocket. Fill it with French fries and your favourite ketchup or yogurt sauce. Got that?
Well done! You've just imagined a Greek fast-food called peinirli. It looks like this:
A peinirli from "Rainbow", Volos
Peinirli is what my friend Anna and I had for a snack in the port town Volos one afternoon just over half a year ago. Although the main reason for my Greek trip last June was a wedding on Santorini, I had arrived a few days in advance in order to visit my Edinburgh friend Anna and her young family. When I asked Anna to introduce me to something that is typical to this specific Greek town, she took me to a popular peinirli joint, Rainbow.
Peinirly derives from a Turkish word 'peynirli', meaning 'cheesy', and came to Greece in early last century with the refugees from Asia Minor. Peinirli always has a cheese filling (usually a mixture of kefalograviera and kasseri cheese), but only the sky is a limit. You can add bacon, eggs, ham, minced meat or anything else you fancy into a peinirli. Whereas usually peinirli is an open boat-shaped yeast pastry with a filling (see here), then the Volos version is closed a la calzone, baked and then filled with stuff to order (above). Quite interesting - not something you'd eat every day, but a perfect snack after promenading on the seaside.
If you're wondering how come I write about something so summery in the midst of January, then let me tell you. It's snowing so heavily outside at the moment, that I could hardly see where I was going when I returned from lunch an hour ago. I thought it's a perfect opportunity to blog about something so distant and different and out of my ordinary to bring some warmth and sunny memories to my day :)