What to eat in Bulgaria?
Bulgarian cuisine is delicious, consisting various salads (Shopska), breads (Parlenka) and stews (Sipene po shopski). Many of the dishes are prepared with fresh products according to old traditional recipes handed down from generation to generation.
Breakfast: One of the most famous and most popular breakfast is banitsa. It is a made of dough with various fillings, usually with cheese. Other popular breakfasts are buhtas (fritters) and mekitsas (fried dough pieces). All of these are particularly delicious when served with jam, marmalade, honey or Bulgarian yogurt. The Bulgarian yoghurt is the best yoghurt you can find in the world. The only place where you can produce it in its unaltered form is Bulgaria. This is due to the Lactobacterium Bulgaricum that is used to make the Bulgarian cheese and grows only in Bulgaria.
Salads: The most popular salad in Bulgaria is the Shopska salad, but there are also other salads worth trying – Shepherd’s salad, Harvest salad, Snezhanka, Mixed, Village salad, Green salad, Cabbage salad, Roasted Peppers salad. Shopska salad is made from fresh chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and peppers sprinkled with Bulgarian white (salty sheep or cow’s) cheese. Dress with oil and vinegar. One of most known product is white brine (feta) cheese. It can be produced only in Bulgaria because of specific lactose tolerant bacteria. The Bacillus Bulgaricus bacteria is found only in this part of the world.
Soups: One of the most popular appetizers is cold Cucumber Soup called Tarator. It is prepared with yogurt, cucumbers, dill, crushed walnuts and spices. It is best to try in the summer time. Other popular soups are chicken, bean or fish soups (made with fresh or saltwater fish) served on the Black Sea Coast.
Starters: Bulgaria’s cuisine also consists of various cold cuts and other meat delicacies. Flat sausage is the most famous. It is prepared all over the country. In Elena Balkans, a specialty is the Elena Pork Leg, prepared with salted pork. Sirene po shopski is typical Bulgarian meal baked in a Gyuvectche, consisting of big white cheese slice, fresh tomato slices, one small chilly, egg on top and spices. Purlenka is bread, prepared on the barbecue. It’s flat and can contains herbs or garlic.
Main Courses: Most of main course dishes are chicken or pork-based. Some of popular Bulgarian meals are grilled – meat balls, kebapches, grilled meat pieces, grilled sausages. Various stews and dishes in clay pots are also a regular part of the Bulgaria cuisine (called satch). Almost every part of Bulgaria has own Kavarma recipe. The meal consists of marinated cooked meat and vegetables. It could be mild or spicy. Gyuvech is very tasty vegetable stew, using a variety of vegetables, including onions, carrots, peas, potatoes, cabbage. Meat can also be added. One of the trademarks of the Bulgarian cuisine is Cheverme – an entire lamb roasted on a spit on fire. The cooking time varies but take up to 8 hours. Another traditional meal is Mussaka. This dish involves potatoes, eggs and minced pork meat.
Desserts: Bulgarian cuisine, represent in restaurants, rely on pancakes, ice cream or crème caramel. You can find many sweets at Bakeries including chocolate cake and baklava (filo pastry filled with nuts and soaked in sugar syrup).
Such delicacies are usually accompanied with a Bulgarian wine, since Bulgaria is justly famous for its wines. Grape growing and wine production have a long history in Bulgaria, dating back to the times of the Thracians. Thanks to the country’s unique climate and soils, a variety of grapes thrive here – Gamza, Dimyat, Mavrud, Red Misket, Ruby and Pamid. Bulgaria has perfect conditions for growing the best quality grapes. Bulgaria was the world's fourth largest wine exporter in 1980s. Another very popular Bulgarian spirit is Rakia. It is made of grapes or other fruits – plums, apricots, figs, pears.
So Bulgarian cuisine is definitely a very good reason to visit our counrty again and again!