Boyoz, which means "bundle" in the Sephardic Ladino language, is a popular Turkish snack that is sold in bakery shops and by street vendors in Izmir. This Turkish town has been famous for the boyoz pastry and for other Sephardic desserts since the 1500s when the Sephardic Jews fled oppression in Spain and came to settle in Turkey. The boyoz pastry was traditionally prepared only by Jewish bakers, one of the most famous of these being Avram Usta, but this custom has changed in recent times and the pastry is now made and eaten by all Turkish communities.
In Turkish cuisine, the boyoz pastry is generally eaten for breakfast and with hard-boiled eggs and a strong tea. The pastry may be plain or may have a variety of cheese, vegetable or meat fillings. It is customary for the pastries to be shaped in a particular way to indicate the filling used. For instance, pastries with potato fillings may have a triangular shape, pastries with a spinach filling may have a round shape and pastries with eggplant or zucchini filling may be square; this is, of course, not a hard and fast rule.
The principal ingredients used to make boyoz are water, flour, lemon juice, a sesame paste known as tahini, and sunflower oil. The ingredients are mixed and well-kneaded by hand to form a dough, which is then left to sit for about two hours. The dough may then undergo more kneading and more shelf time over a period of several more hours. Once the dough is well-formed and soft, it is cut into small balls and these are then immersed and soaked for an hour in a pan full of sunflower oil.
The next step is to remove the balls from the oil and roll them into neat paper-thin rounds. These rounds are folded around the fillings in the required shapes and the bundles are placed in an oven and baked at a high temperature until they turn a nice golden brown. The pastries are now ready to eat, and generally are best consumed freshly baked and within the day. The boyoz pastries sold by street vendors may be greasier and taste different than the ones sold in specialty shops. In either case, this Turkish pastry is usually eaten with hard-boiled eggs; these are known as huevo haminado or yumurta, and are prepared by roasting the eggs on a low flame with onions and black pepper until the eggs turn brown.