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IMG_8345There are about 11 million Greeks in today’s Greece and about another 11 million throughout the rest of the world. Greeks have long traveled beyond familiar land and have made their new beginnings in far off lands.

Eons ago, Greeks had settlements in Egypt, as far west as southern France and as far east as India when Alexander the Great traversed and conquered and Greeks co-habitated with locals.

Greeks, for ages, lived beyond the borders of today’s Greece and some the oldest Greek settlements were in Asia Minor. Of particular notice today are the Pontian Greeks who lived in Pontos or around the Black Sea. Earliest mention of Greeks in the Black Sea region is from Greek mythology when Jason and the Argonauts traveled here in search of the Golden Fleece.

Political upheavels between Turkey and Greece caused large populations of Greek and Turks to be expelled from respective territories. Greece saw an influx of Asian Minor Greeks from Smyrni, Constantinople and the Turkish interior and of course, Pontians from around the Black Sea.PowerPoint Slide Show - [salonika [Compatibility Mode]] 05022013 53443 PM-001

Like any refugee, you’re forced to leave your life behind, unable to think about what belongings to bring with you and most people simply came with their memories and local customs and dialects with them. Pontian Greeks have resettled throughout Greece but the majority live in Athens, Thessaloniki and in towns throughout the province of Macedonia.IMG_8334

Although my family is not Pontian we do have many family members (through marriage) that are Pontians and of course, many friends. This recipe comes courtesy of one my mother’s best friends, kuria (Mrs.) Eleni Abatzoglou, who shared her recipe for Pontiaka Piroski.

Piroski are fried dough with an array of filling from potato, to cheese and to meet. They are easy to make and through the miracle of fried dough – they are addictive and dangerous to have laying about as you just can’t get enough of them!IMG_8351

For the Pontiaka Piroski (Ποντιακα Πιροσκι) recipe, please buy my Everything Mediterranean cookbook.


© 2013 – 2014,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

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8 Comments for “Piroski”



This looks like it will soon be a favorite in our house. Thank you for sharing. If I was to make them with cheese would it be same filling as I would for Tyropita? and if I make some meat ones make it with kima and tomato sauce like the filling for Moussaka? Oh the variety.. cant wait :) P.S. You have made me FABULOUS in the kitchen! and the husband agrees :)


Ohh these look so good. You’re right, that deep-fried pastry goodness is so addictive! Niki’s idea making a tyropita-style filling sounds great too. Perhaps you could even mix a bit of feta with the potato filling? Oh yes, I’ll definitely be making these on the weekend…


Another Abatzoglou?! And Pontian? I must have some connections there… hmm someone the Abatzoglou’s split between Kappadoccia and Pontos. These piroskis look bomb! I would like a dozen, parakalw!

Fr Simeon B. Johnson


Fascinating, and sounds delicious!

When I read the title I couldn’t help but think of the central European classic Pirogi (boiled, and very similar to these), or the Russian Pirozhki (baked meat/veggie pies).

Reading the recipe, I would speculate that these are all related dishes.

Fr Simeon
Holy Dormition Orthodox Church, Calhan CO


Peter-fried dough gets me every time, and filled fried dough? It’s like an addiction. Very interesting info on Greek settlements too – just like the Romans – they got around!