I·ATE Term of The Week: Pasties, Empanadas, Pitas, Pierogi

I-ATE Food Term of the Week_ Pasties, Empanadas, Pitas, Pierogi

cornish-pastiesThe traditional dishes you see in the title of this I-ATE Food Term of the Week article can be found all over the world. Their names and recipes may vary depending on the region, but one thing is for sure: the essence remains the same. Let’s have a look into the matter and discover what the similarities and differences are.

The recipe for the Cornish pasties is surely a very popular one. Its roots are in the history of Cornwall, a region in the United Kingdom. These pasties used to be a culinary delight for miners back in the 19th century. They have become very popular worldwide – they are sold in the United States, South Africa, New Zealand and many parts of Australia. In 2011, the Cornish pasty was trademarked by the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status in Europe.


In Spain and Latin American countries, you will enjoy empanadas. An empanada is a dough stuffed with savoury vegetables, eggs, cheese, meat or other ingredients that vary from nation to nation and from region to region. In the Spanish version, the dough is slightly different, as it is made with olive oil and yeast, while the South American is normally prepared with wheat flour.

In other Mediterranean countries, there are different tasty recipes such as Greek pitas made of leavened flatbread, also known as καλτσούνι,kaltsouni“, especially in Crete. Pitas can be dipped in many traditional sauces and foods. Calzone and panzerotto from Italy have, of course, more to do with pizza. Tourte in France has oven-baked dough that is the biggest in shape and can be stuffed with many different vegetables and herbs.pierogi

If we are talking about the Slavic countries, the delicious pierogi are very well-known in many regions of Poland, Ukraine and Russia. Pierogi are made of thinly rolled dough and filled with a countless number of ingredients. You can serve them as an appetizer, a meaty or vegetarian main course or even a sweet dessert. There are also special variations, such as the cabbage and mushrooms pierogi at Christmas and the ones cooked with seasonal fruits during the summer, using, for instance, raspberries, blueberries and even strawberries with cream inside. A bomb of calories!
jiaoziComing to an end, let’s talk about Asia. In China they have jiaozi, which are also known as Chinese ravioli. Very popular in traditional cuisines, jiaozi are prepared by filling dough with meat or vegetables. They are normally served with the typical soya sauce at different times of the day, for example for breakfast in the region of Guangzhou.
Finally, we have samosas that originated in the Middle East and Central Asia. Samosas have many variations, but they are essentially fried or baked snacks filled with spiced vegetables, meat, noodles, lentils, nuts and so on. They are cooked in a triangular shape and are quite easy to find in the UK.

Was your country mentioned in the article? Do you know any other recipe or variant of these yummy meals? Please, let us know by posting a comment on Facebook. Do not forget to share this week’s I-ATE Food Term on social media if you have enjoyed the reading!

Written by Ana Jiménez Morente
Content Editor.
Communication Trainee, DG TRAD – Terminology Coordination Unit

Edited by Magdalena Sikorska


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HISTORY.com. 2016. Miners’ Delight: The History of the Cornish Pasty – Hungry History. [ONLINE]
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Available at: http://www.tastingpoland.com/food/pierogi.html. [Accessed 11 October 2016].