A fragrant thick curl of golden to golden-brown dough.|
- 12 sheets filo dough
- 8 Tbsp butter
- ½ lb crumbled sirene or feta cheese
- ¾ lb Byalan (sheep’s milk) yogurt
- 4 to 8 small golden charms
- 4 whole eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
Sgŭnetorta is a popular pastry from the Byalan Ailor that comes in savory or sweet varieties. It is often eaten at special times of the year, with golden charms baked into the dish for people to find and bring out, thought to represent good luck. It is also eaten at other times of the year, yet its holiday variety has seen adoption in non-Byalan areas at major and festive times of the year.
Sgŭnetorta is an ancient dish and has likely been consumed since the earliest days of Byalan settlement into their current region. The dish makes use of a variety of simple agricultural goods, and the addition of golden charms is often attributed to the ancient, mysterious figure known as Kobbrat, supposedly one of their oldest and most respected leaders from their early period. Living at the time of their constant war with the Dvala, he brought his wife with him on the campaign for food and comfort. After baking a Sgŭnetorta for her husband, before a great battle, she discovered her golden neck charm of a bull had gone missing, and her husband promptly found it in his pastry. When he won the battle, and she gave birth to twin sons several months later, he proclaimed the good luck that the charm had given him. From that day onward on significant occasions, families and groups baked these small golden charms into the dish, which also gradually expanded to not just be a morning pastry but also a dessert with sweet varieties, and even more of a main course with the use of greens to make a savory dish. Unlike other Byalan dishes, this pastry has actually been embraced by outsiders, at least during special times of the year like Wintertide, and in major urban cities like the City of Regalia. In such a press of people, Byalans abroad often make quite a fine sum selling the dish given its delicious taste, and unique tradition.
Sgŭnetorta is a highly layered, and delicate dish to make. The first step is for the yogurt to be whisked together with four whole eggs in a large bowl. Following this, the cheese, salt, pepper and Gold charms should also be added in and mixed together thoroughly. While this is going on, the butter should be melted over high heat, and then taken aside. Once this is done, two sheets of the filo dough should have their tops brushed with melted butter. A third sheet should be placed on top of the other two, and it too should have its top brushed by butter. The three sheets should next be turned over and have their bottoms brushed as well. A quarter of the yogurt mixture should be placed on the top of the layered filo sheets, with the whole creation then rolled lengthwise like a long sausage. This process should be repeated three more times, forming four rolls. After this has been done, a springform pan can be placed on a baking sheet to serve as a mold, or the four pieces can be put directly on a baking sheet. Regardless of which way, the first roll should be placed at the edge of the circle and curl in like a snail’s shell, with the intention of formatting a curl down into the center with all four pieces. Meanwhile, in a small container, the isolated egg yolk should be beaten into the remaining butter, and the mixture used to brush the entire pastry. Once this has been done, it should be baked on low to high heat for up to twenty minutes, or until golden-brown. It can be eaten hot once removed from the oven, but also eaten cold.
- Sgŭnetorta look like a golden to golden-brown pastry with a rough surface, and a clear spiral shape with a rough exterior.
- Sgŭnetorta smell of their filling and covering, that being egg, yogurt, and cheese. The savory and sweet varieties also add other smells based on what is added in.
- Sgŭnetorta have a layered taste, with a rough outside covered in bubbles and the crisp baked surface while the center is soft, and often holding the filling of dairy products and whatever else within in.
- The list of Sgŭnetorta charms added into the dish is as follows: the bull, the rod, the swallow, the dove, the eye, the sheep, the bee, and the donkey. Each has local symbolic meaning, though Byalans abroad who sell the pastry often use very generic charms that jettison the cultural symbolism unique to them.
- Supposedly, Lord Symeon IV pulled a golden skull from his Sgŭnetorta the morning of the day before he was deposed. It was an effort from his sympathetic chef to warn him of what was to come. However, he interpreted it as wholly good luck and the head of his enemies.
HydraLana on 01/14/2021.|
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