Sliced cheese-filled bougatsa served on a plate
Place of originGreece
Main ingredientsPhyllo; filling of semolina custard

Bougatsa (Greek: μπουγάτσα [buˈɣatsa]) is a Greek breakfast pastry (sweet or savoury) consisting of semolina custard.


The name comes from the Byzantine Greek πογάτσα (pogátsa), from the ancient Roman pānis focācius, literally "hearth bread"; cf. Italian focaccia.[1] It may have had a classical origin in the Ancient Greek/Roman placenta cake. A similar dessert is still known as placenta (Greek: πλατσέντα) on the island of Lesbos in Greece.[2][3]

It is found in Thessaloniki and in the Central Macedonia region of Northern Greece, particularly the city of Serres, where it was brought in the 20th century by Greek refugees from Constantinople. The taste of bougatsa varies between regions of Greece. For example, bougatsa in Veria is very sweet and full of cream, while in Thessaloniki it is crunchy and not that sweet, and in Chania Crete it is made of local mizithra cheese and sprinkled with sugar.


Bougatsa made in Thessaloniki
Preparation of custard bougatsa in an Athens cafe

Greek bougatsa is prepared from phyllo dough wrapped around a filling. After it is baked, it is cut into serving pieces and served hot. If the filling is semolina custard, then the pastry may be lightly dusted with powdered sugar and/or cinnamon.

Most modern bougatsa is made with machine-made phyllo, but some cafes and bakeries selling hand-made bougatsa still exist, especially in smaller towns and villages of Greece.


The city of Serres achieved the record for the largest puff pastry on 1 June 2008. It weighed 182.2 kg (402 lb), was 20 metres (66 ft) long, and was made by more than 40 bakers.[4]

The process of making bougatsa by hand was featured on an episode of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations filmed in Greece.

See also

In Greek cuisine

In other cuisines


  1. ^ "Η ιστορία της μπουγάτσας".
  2. ^ Τριανταφύλλη, Κική (17 October 2015). "Πλατσέντα, από την Αγία Παρασκευή Λέσβου". Retrieved 7 February 2020.
  3. ^ Γιαννέτσου 2014, p. 161: "Η πλατσέντα είναι σαν τον πλακούντα των αρχαίων Ελλήνων, με ξηρούς καρπούς και μέλι."
  4. ^ Guinness World Records

Works cited