Tiropita or tyropita (τυρóπιτα, literally cheese-pie) is a Greek layered pastry food in the burek family, made with layers of buttered phyllo and filled with a cheese-egg mixture.
It has been suggested that it descends from the Byzantine dish plakountas tetyromenous (also called tyritas plakountas in Byzantine Greek), itself a descendant of placenta (food), the ancient baked layered cheese dish of Roman times. An alternate theory is that layered dishes like tiropita have their origins in Turkish cuisine and may trace back to layered pan-fried breads developed by the Turks of Central Asia before their westward migration to Anatolia. (cf.Baklava)
Another variety is the spiral Skopelos Cheese Pie in which long strips of cheese stuffed phyllo are formed into a spiral and deep fried.
Tiropita can also be made in a large pan (ταψί [taˈpsi]) and cut into individual portions after baking. The individual form is sold in bakeries throughout Greece, where it is a popular breakfast and snack food. Alternatives to tiropita are spanakopita, a pie with spinach, as well as bougatsa.
In Greece, one can find many varieties of Tyropita:
Kourou: Surrounded by a thick pastry.
Sfoliata: Surrounded by puff-pastry.
Horiatiki: Made in a Tapsi pan.
Skopelitiki: Made in the shape of a twirl.
Regular tiropita fillings usually consist of feta cheese, egg, butter and yogurt. However, "kasseropita" contains kasseri instead of feta cheese and, unlike regular tiropita, does not contain yogurt.
Tiropita is usually eaten in the mid-morning by Greeks. Breakfast consists only of coffee and sometimes buttered bread. Then a mid-morning snack may consist of tyropita (more commonly) or spanakopita.
^Perry, Charles. "The Taste for Layered Bread among the Nomadic Turks and the Central Asian Origins of Baklava", in A Taste of Thyme: Culinary Cultures of the Middle East (ed. Sami Zubaida, Richard Tapper), 1994, ISBN 1-86064-603-4.