A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

Recent entries:
Entry in progress—BP (3/27)
Entry in progress—BP (3/27)
Entry in progress—BP (3/27)
Entry in progress—BP (3/27)
Entry in progress—BP (3/27)
More new entries...

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

Entry from February 02, 2019
Moroccan Cigar (meat/vegetable-filled crispy wrapper)

"Moroccan cigars” are appetizers of (usually) ground beef wrapped up in phyllo dough; the dish looks like a cigar (or a flute). Although the dish is called “Moroccan cigar,” it has been most popular in Israel since the 1970s and in Middle Eastern restaurants in New York City since the 1980s.

“Moroccan cigars” was cited in The Arizona Republic (Phoenix, AZ) on January 8, 1975, in a story datelined from Jerusalem, Israel. An Israeli recipe for “French Moroccan Cigars” was printed in the Los Angeles (CA) Times on June 5, 1975. “Moroccan cigars ($2 for 3 pieces), fried rolls of phylo-wrapped hotly spiced ground meat” was printed in the Daily News (New York, NY) on May 20, 1988, reporting on an Israeli cuisine restaurant in New York City.

“You can make these cigars with any kind of ground meat, including vegetarian crumbles (no one will believe they are vegetarian)” was printed on the website Joy of Kosher—Jamie Geller on July 9, 2017.

Wikipedia: List of Moroccan dishes
Moroccan Cigars Appetizer Ground beef wrapped in dough

8 January 1975, The Arizona Republic (Phoenix, AZ), “Israel can’t deal with PLO, foreign service official says,” pg. G-14, cols. 3-4:
Dinner with this government representative was at Mishkenot Shaananin, “where Kissinger likes to dine,” we were told.

Cuisine here is French-North African and very good. We were served mixed hot hors d’oeuvre of mushrooms provencale, dolmas (stuffed grape leaves), small pears stuffed with raisins and nuts, and Moroccan ‘cigars’ and ‘pastels” (cheese filled pastries).
This is a typical recipe:


5 June 1975, Los Angeles (CA) Times, “Yalangi-Yaprak, Mamool: Sephardic Specialties at Lunch Sephardic Specialties at Lunch” by Barbara Hansen, pt. 6, pg. 10, col. 1:
2 (6 1/2 ounce of 7-ounce) cans tuna, packed in water, drained
8 hard-cooked eggs
1 cup ground onion
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 pound Gruyere cheese, grated
3/4 cup mayonnaise
Salt, pepper
1 package filo dough
mash tuna and eggs with a fork. Add onion, parsley, cheese mayonnaise and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Spread each sheet of filo dough with oil, using a brush. Fold each leaf in quarters lengthwise, then cut into three sections. Place some of tuna mixture on each section and roll up as a cigar. Place on baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned, 20 to 30 minutes. Makes about 40.

4 February 1977, Jerusalem (Israel) Post, “Bill of Fare: Which continent?” by H.L.S., Magazine sec., pg. 6, col. 3:
(Continental Bar and Restaurant.—ed.)
However, he perked up when he tasted the Moroccan “cigars”—crisp pastries filled with a peppery liver mixture.

20 May 1977, Jerusalem (Israel) Post, “Bill of Fare: New in Romema” by H.L.S., Magazine sec., pg. 6, cols. 2-3:
To open our meal we decided to try the Moroccan cigars and the moussaka. The former is usually made of light, rolled pastry filled with a spicy liver mixture.

These cigars were made with a crepe-type pancake which had been filled and then deep-fried. They were crisp and very good.

Google Books
Blood Cries
By John Weisman
New York, NY: Viking
Pg. 51:
He sat facing her, and waited silently as Moshe, Venetzia’s captain, waiter, sommelier and busboy all in one deposited plates of bread and butter, deep-fried Moroccan cigars’ and chili-spiced, garlic-cured olives on the table, opened the crisp white wine with a flourish and poured without waiting for Jared to taste it.

20 May 1988, Daily News (New York, NY), “You Don’t Have to Be Jewish” by Arthur Schwarts, pg. 65, cols. 2-3:
(Ladino, 67 Second Avenue, corner of Fourth Street.—ed.)
For appetizers, it’s best to go a la carte here and order plates ($3.25 each) of hummus, babaganoush and tahini, plus an order of Moroccan cigars ($2 for 3 pieces), fried rolls of phylo-wrapped hotly spiced ground meat.

Google Books
Mr. Cheap’s New York:
Bargains, Factory Outlets, Off-Price Stores, Deep Discount Stores, Cheap Eats, Cheap Places to Stay, and Cheap Fun Things to Do

By Mark Waldstein
Holbrook, MA: Bob Adams, Incorporated
Pg. 263:
Their falafel ($3.75 for a half-dozen) is dark and intense, well spiced and crunchy But beyond that, you’ll find appetizers like mlawach ($4.50), a sort of deep-dish layered bread that’s sometimes known as a Yemenite pancake; and “Moroccan Cigars” ($5.00), ground beef rolled up in phyllo dough.

Google Books
The Unofficial Guide to New York City
By Eve Zibart, Bob Sehlinger and Joe Surki
New York, NY: Macmillan Travel
Pg. 422:
... kasha varnichkes (oniony buckwheat with bow- tie noodles); potato pancakes (deep fried, but good); homemade french fries; chicken soup with matzo balls; falafel; derma (rich spicy stuffing in sausage casing); fried “Moroccan cigars” (pastry flutes stuffed with finely minced meat); homemade gefilte fish.

Google Books
The Food Lover’s Guide to the Best Ethnic Eating in New York City
By Robert Sietsema
New York, NY: City & Company
Pg. 132:
Also dig the vegetable-stuffed pastries known as Moroccan cigars, and the excellent mint tea. [kosher]

Google Books
Nosh New York:
The Food Lover’s Guide to New York City’s Most Delicious Neighborhoods

By Myra Alperson
New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press
Pg. ?:
You can also make a meal of appetizers, such as Moroccan “cigars” (long, thin, phyllo-wrapped pastries with beef or other fillings), zalouk (a slow-cooked eggplant appetizer), and hearty soups, for about $4 or $5.

Food Republic
Crunchy Lamb And Phyllo Cigars Recipe
Deep-fried bites for cold beer. Need we say more?

Adeena Sussman
April 21, 2015
The combination of crispy food and cold beer is hard to beat, but consider getting your salty, crunchy fix from a slightly more exotic source: the Israeli kitchen. Moroccan cigars, or sigariyot, as they’re called in Israel, are a staple at mizrahi (North African) eateries and beyond. When done right, they’re world-beatingly good; the combination of crispy shell and tender, flavorful filling is irresistible, and not as hard to pull off as you’d imagine. In Israel you can buy a special frozen dough — something in between a wonton wrapper and puff pastry — in the supermarket freezer.

MOROCCAN CIGARS – Meat filled crispy wrappers
Published on Jun 12, 2015
This Father’s Day make this tasty treat dad will love. Ground meat is mixed with cumin, paprika, cayenne, pepper, pomegranate molasses, parsley, mint, onion, spring onion and egg to make a tasty filling for this smoking hot recipe. It’s wrapped in a crispy spring roll wrapper.
You can find the whole recipe here - Ingredients

2 lbs ground meat
Salt & pepper to taste
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp paprika powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
1/4 cup chopped Parsley
3 tbsps chopped mint
3 – 4 Spring onions
3 cloves garlic crushed
1 egg

20 – 25, 8 x 8 Spring Roll wrappers
1 extra beaten egg

Mix all the ingredients together and add to a processor and process till a smoother paste
Add to a piping bag
Separate the Spring roll sheets and brush with egg wash
Pipe the filling in a straight line roll over the wrapper and fold them inwards and roll like a cigar
Add more egg at the end and seal
Fry in hot oil

Joy of Kosher—Jamie Geller
You can make these cigars with any kind of ground meat, including vegetarian crumbles (no one will believe they are vegetarian).  Something about the combo of spices covers up anything else and make the perfect filling.  All you need to do is wrap, roll and bake or fry. 

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Saturday, February 02, 2019 • Permalink