Similar to börek when it comes to fillings, çibörek is a deep-fried dough filled with minced meat and onions or cheese. Made with a single piece of dough, folded over the filling to create a half-circle shape and then deep-fried. (It’s been compared to an empanada at times).
A popular traditional dish from Crimea that was brought to Turkey during the Crimean Tatar Diaspora into the Ottoman Empire. Crimean Tartars immigrated from Crimea to Turkey in three waves, after the Russian annexation of Crimea in 1783, after the Crimean War of 1853-56 and after the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78. Many settled in and around Eskişehir, making this Turkish city famous for çibörek.
It’s name is not Turkish and derives from Crimean Tartar, çiberek. Çi börek actually translates to ‘delicious pastry’ but today it’s still commonly mistakenly referred to and written as çiğ börek which translates to ‘raw pastry’ due to the pronunciation of the word being the same (but spelt differently) – but don’t worry this is in no way a raw pastry.
When ordering, you typically choose a portion of 3 or 5. Keep in mind it’s a light, puffy pastry but deep fried, so beware of the hot oil stored inside when biting!