What are flakes?

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Flakes are pastries filled with cheese or sweet fillings, originating from the Iberian Peninsula. They come in various shapes and sizes, with traditional local fillings including regionally popular cheeses. Some are compared to cheesecake and can be sprinkled with sugar or drizzled with honey. They are popular year-round and can be made in individual portions or larger cakes. The sweet cheese version is popular in Ibiza.

Flakes, pronounced “FLAY-awns” with an emphasis on the first syllable, are filled pastries that are often made with cheese inside. These sweets come from several countries in southwestern Europe called the Iberian Peninsula and some surrounding regions. They can be sweet or savory and come in many forms that can be single-serving or large enough to feed a family. Most flakes are portable sandwiches made for one person to eat, but some flakes are larger, shaped like cakes, and are cut up and served to multiple people. The singular name for each pastry is flaó.

This dish originated as a food for Easter celebrations, but has grown into a popular year-round food. In addition to differentiating the shape of this pastry, each region that serves it has a traditional local filling, which generally includes a regionally popular cheese, usually made locally. The types of cheese used in these desserts are very varied and include soft cheeses such as cottage cheese and soft goat cheese, as well as a number of aged hard cheeses. The sweet, soft cheese versions of this pastry are sometimes compared to cheesecake.

While most flakes are filled with some type of cheese, by definition they shouldn’t be filled with any cheese. Some of these sweets are filled with jam or honey. Sweet versions of this pastry are sometimes sprinkled with sugar or drizzled with honey.

These sweets have different shapes in the different regions of the Iberian Peninsula where they are commonly prepared. They can be made in individual portions which come in the form of small sandwiches, of them can be made in the form of cakes which are cut and served. Flakes that serve multiple people are often called large flakes.

Some large flakes are topped with a top crust, like a traditional pie, while others have only a bottom crust. Pies without a top crust are often called flake pies. Like other tarts, flaky tarts are sometimes covered in sliced ​​fruit. The small single-serving flakes are called flaonets.

The Iberian Peninsula, sometimes called Iberia, is an area in southwestern Europe that includes countries such as Spain, Portugal and Andorra. This pastry, a sweet cheese version flavored with orange juice and aniseed, is very popular on a Spanish island called Ibiza, a city famous for its tourism and nightlife. Ibiza is one of four Mediterranean islands known as the Balearic Islands.

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