Pastry appetizers are special treats for Jewish holidays and other festive occasions. These Jewish pastries can be either sweet or savory, depending on the pastry filling. Each Jewish community has developed their own pastry favorites:
Piroshki: Jews from Russia make these yeast-risen pastries, which may be fried or baked.
Cigars: The Moroccan Jewish tradition includes this rolled fried pastry.
Bourekas: A specialty of Jews originating in the eastern Mediterranean, these triangular or half-moon shaped pastries may be made of flaky filo dough, pie dough, or puff pastry and usually are sprinkled with sesame seeds before they go into the oven. Spinach, cheese, and potato are the most popular fillings.
Knishes: From Eastern Europe come these savory pastries filled with meat, potato, or kasha (buckwheat groats). The dough resembles pie dough, and the typical form is pillow-shaped, although a standard turnover shape is also common.
Usually, knish pastry is less flaky than bourekas pastry.