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Perek, a Pontian delight, a light and delicious cheese-filled pastry. Traditionally roasted on sats, it preserves well, a symbol of resilience from Pontus, Greece.

Greek ‘Perek’ is a pie using cheese and butter from cows’ milk

Perek is the lightest and most delicious of all pita. Made using only cheese and high-quality butter from cows’ milk, it is a crunchy sheet of pastry that has a delicious flavor.

Perek sheets or “baslamas”, as they are known in certain regions, are kneaded using just flour, water and salt, and are then roasted on sats, the traditional utensil from the Pontus which is shaped like a huge convex sheet-metal pan to cook in a fireplace. After around eight minutes, when completely dried, the pita becomes like lacy dried bread that is good for as long as a year. It was the solution that the women of the Pontus found for making pitas without having to prepare the sheet of pastry sheet on the spot. In urban areas, perek can be found in the grocery stores that sell Pontian products, but also in butcher shops.

Pontus is the region on the eastern shores of the Black Sea in modern-day Turkey, the homeland of many Greeks since ancient times until the genocide that was instigated by the government of the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish national movement against the indigenous Greek population of the Empire.
The purge involved massacres, forced deportations through death marches, summary expulsions, arbitrary executions, and the destruction of Eastern Orthodox cultural, historical, and religious monuments during World War I and its aftermath (1914–1922) on the basis of the Greeks’ religion and ethnicity.

Most of the survivors fled to Greece as refugees, thus increasing the population of Greece by a quarter. Some survivors, especially those in the Eastern Turkish provinces, took refuge in the neighboring Russian Empire.

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