Mmmmm ... Turkish borek !!! Where have you been all my life?
My first taste of cigaret borek (Sigara Boregi) was insanely good.
Thin layers of crackly phyllo are wrapped around a mixture of oozy feta cheese mixed with fresh parsley. The cigar-shaped borak is deep-fried. One taste and I am addicted.
Here's a picture of what a cigaret borek looks like.
Like one of the above links states ...
"Absolutely divine, irresistable delicate thin rolls of filo pastry, crispy on the outside and oozing with melting cheese. Incredibly "more-ish" finger food."
Can anyone tell me more about boreks?
When we traveled to Istanbul last year, we asked our private guide to take us to some local places to eat as the locals do, and for lunch one day, she took us to a well-known borek restaurant in a lovely seaside resort. They served two types of borek: the traditional one only with cheese, and one filled with ground meat. I tried both and while the meat one was okay, the cheese one was absolutely heavenly (and I'm not that fond of cheese)! It was so light and fluffy, a wonderful lunchtime meal. I can't remember what type of cheese was inside -- I don't think it was only feta. We didn't have cigar-shaped boreks, but I vaguely remember that both were the size and shape of a wheel of parmesan cheese, and a serving would be a wedge-shaped slice off the wheel.
If you're ever in NYC, Tony & Tina's in the Bronx looks like a pizzeria, but actually makes and serves Albanian bourek (cheese, meat, pumpkin). The cheese is excellent, although a bit heavier than the Turkish - which I can assert because down in Brooklyn is Gulluoglu, a Turkish bakery which is a branch of the home location in Istanbul. They fly in their bourek, and finish it in ovens at the shop. The cheese bourek is as you describe - outstandingly delicious. Neither, however, is deep-fried; they're baked. A slightly different kind of bourek can sometimes also be found in Maghreb restaurants featuring Moroccan, Algerian, or Tunisian cuisine.
Just one comment: a Turkish cook I know makes this with dill rather than parsley....It is fabulous!
I am not able to tell you any more about bureks, but what you have described is almost the same as what I buy in Chicago. I get them in Greektown & they are called tiropita. It's just like spanakopita, minus the spinach. The shape is different, but the ingredients seem the same. And btw, I love them as well.
There is a tiny Turkish grocery store in Queens - that's where I buy homemade bureks, if I'm lucky - they run out fast. The bureks sold there used to be empanada style pies - just plain doug filled with either meat or cheese and fried. I usually by meat versions filled with minced lamb and lots of paprika. Last time I bought bureks there it was the layered filo type pastry more like you describe. I miss the closed pie version.