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    Bastilla

    Bastilla is a savory pie of mixed Arabic and Andalusian origin.

    Bastilla

    Its name is an Arabic translation of the Spanish word pastilla, which roughly translates as “small pastry.” Although this specific dish is no longer found in Spain, it is likely that Bastilla is a relic of a time when Spain and Morocco were both ruled by the Moors. At this time, culture and tradition flowed freely between the two countries. Bastilla is made from carefully layered sheets of werqa dough, a paper-thin variety similar to phyllo pastry.

    The filling placed between the werqa layers is made from meat, onions, parsley, and spices bound together by beaten egg. After baking, the top layer of pastry is dusted with icing sugar and cinnamon, and often, ground almonds. Traditionally, Bastilla was made with the meat of fledgling pigeons, or squabs. Due to the expense of squab meat, the dish was reserved for special celebrations. Today, Bastilla made from cheaper chicken (and sometimes beef, fish or even offal) are more common.

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