Pitta (Pie) is to the Greeks what pasta is to the Italians –food to warm the soul!
Pies, the most typical example of folk nutritional tradition, precisely express the Greek gastronomic spirit of simplicity.
Tasteful masterpieces, from simple and plain materials, combine the wisdom of cooking economy with supreme gastronomical virtue.
The Greek pies, as we know it today, probably evolved from the ancient flat breads, which were baked on the stones of the hearth, of fried and often topped with cheese, herbs and olive oil, dried nuts and honey or other ingredients. Or they are an integration of the Renaissance torte, the festive pies that contained many diverse ingredients with a type of thin bread that was made in Asia Minor and looked like a pie.
Traditional Greek pies are renowned in Epirus, Thessaly and Central Greece. This is easily attributed to the living conditions in those areas. More specifically in Epirus, pies were a basic nutritional element for stockbreeders and nomads such as the Vlahoi and the Sarakatsaneoi.
In the older days, the filling of the pie was determined by the season. In spring, we had pies with lots of green vegetables, in winter cabbage pies and leek pies. For Christmas meat pies with leftover pork from the festive dinner, spring pies with fresh vegetables during Lent, zucchini pies for the summer, while cheese pies were very popular during the cheesemaking season.
In contemporary Greek cuisine, pies play a very functional role as they can either be served as an appetizer or as a main dish at a light supper.