Alida Malushi, a pastry chef who was born in Kosovo to an Albanian family, came to New York in 1991. With her niece, Ariana, she established Balkan Bites, making and selling her family’s burek, the filled pastries that are widely enjoyed throughout the Balkans, in Turkey and parts of the Middle East. Though she is calling them “bites,” they are considerably larger, almost the size of a bagel. Inside the flaky pastry spiral, there is the choice of meat, a tangy cheese mixture, and a combination of spinach and cheese. The pastries are sold frozen and take about 30 minutes in the oven without prior thawing, to emerge savory and burnished.
Balkan Bites, four frozen ready-to-bake burek, $18 (minimum order four bags), balkanbites.co.