The typical Patmos tiropita is different from the more common Greek tiropita, consisting of a cheese filling wrapped in layers of puff pastry and cooked in olive oil. The typical Patmos tiropita, instead, is a baked short crust pastry pie with a filling consisting of a mixture of eggs and cheeses.
The first document about tiropita of Patmos dates back to the early 1900’s, even if its origin is probably older. These cakes were prepared at homes in spring, especially at Easter, when there was an abundance of milk and eggs, which were the main ingredients. At that time, prior to refrigeration, the still cool climate allowed it to last longer. Tiropita lasts two days at room temperature, while in the refrigerator it can be kept for a week.
Tiropita were originally prepared in large molds (about 20-25 cm in diameter). However, in the post-war era, to save money, it became common to recycle as molds the cans of ham (especially the "Swan" brand), which were smaller (10-12 cm in diameter approximately), so from then on the tiropita sizes have also been smaller.
Prepared for home consumption, tiropita was cooked in wooden ovens. With the advent of commercial bakeries, in Patmos, in the 60’s and 70’s women prepared tiropita at home during Holy Week and took them to the bakery to be cooked. Thus it was that the bakeries began to produce them also independently; and the homemade tiropita turned from a family delicacy to a commercial product.
The short crust pastry that forms the outer container of this pie is made with salt, a pinch of sugar to give it a bit of color, yogurt to make the dough softer and olive oil. The filling consists of whole eggs mixed with cheeses that include goat mizithra, feta (which brings salt and helps the conservation), and the addition of hard cheese such as kefalotiri or Graviera. Before placing the pie in the oven for baking, the filling is sprinkled with a little cinnamon.
It is often consumed as street food.