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Pita, Pites (plural), Pitaki, Pitakia (plural)


Myzithropitakia - Small Sweet Cheese Pies

Myzithropitakia - Small Sweet Cheese Turnovers

Photo © Jim Stanfield

The Greek word pita (plural pites) refers to a pie or cake cooked in a baking pan. Greek pan pies are often made with phyllo dough crusts and pan cakes are often soaked in a honey or sugar syrup. Pita (say: PEE-tah) is most frequently used as a suffix following the word for the pie's or cake's main ingredient, such as spanakopita, which combines the word for spinach with the pita suffix to create "spinach pie." The word pites (say: PEE-tes) is generally used to describe the type of food.

The word pitaki and the more frequently used plural, pitakia mean "small pie" or "turnover" and "small pies" or "turnovers."

Pitakia (say: pee-TAHK-yah) are often made with phyllo dough folded or cut into triangles, half-moons, and circles around fillings ranging from spinach and other greens to feta, manouri, and other cheeses.

One of my favorite pites is the easy version of Spanakopita (Spinach Pan Pie) and another is the classic pan cake with syrup, Karythopita (Walnut Spice Cake). Favorite pitakia include Tyropitakia (small cheese pies) and Hortopitakia (savory turnovers).

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