What is food like Bulgaria?
Bulgarian Food - this page has detailed information and recipes on the foods and beverages of Bulgaria.
Bulgarian Cuisine is the excellent result of the mix between a wealth of local culinary traditions and some foreign influences. This fact is, in a way, what determines the uniquely Bulgarian food offering cuisine with its own characteristics, originality, and an exceptional variety.
Being good quality and inexpensive, the famous Bulgarian wines are the perfect partner for every speciality. Bulgarian continental beers such as Astika, Kamenitsa, and Zagorka are excellent and really more economical than some imported beers. Rakia (Brandy) is a Bulgarian spirit/schnapps that is a good way to start a meal.
There are also typical Bulgarian snacks available from stands or small shops in the street. Piroshka is a delicious fried stick of dough which is filled with cheese. Banitsa is a pastry with white cheese inside it and sometimes spinach onion or leek. Gevrek is a bagel that is considered to be rather dry. Finally, Kifla is a croissant that usually contains jam.
Many Bulgarian dishes are made with onions, garlic, spices, oils, and fresh vegetables that are often eaten raw, stewed with meat - mainly veal, pork, and chicken that are either fried, grilled, or served as a stew. Some examples of meat dishes are:
- Kavarma which is a stew made up of vegetables and meat.
- Kyuvech consisting of stewed lamb and chunks of vegetables.
- Kyufteta which consists of spicy meat balls/hamburgers.
- Kebapcheta which consists of mincemeat with spices that is shaped like a sausage and then grilled.
Lentil Stew is a traditional Bulgarian recipe which is very easy to prepare. Below are the ingredients and the cooking method:
- 1 cup lentils (continental)
- 1 finely chopped large onion
- 2 finely chopped medium carrots
- 3-4 small chunks of peeled garlic cloves
- 1-2 tablespoon of vegetable oil
- 1 tin tomato in tomato sauce or 2-3 large tomatoes in small chunks
- 1 cup of chicken, vegetable, or pork stock
- 1 tablespoon of chubritza or oregano
- A pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon of cornflour or flour mixed with some water
Rossi's twist - Optional:2-3 celery stalks cut into small pieces Frankfurter style sausages
Wash the lentils and boil them in water with a pinch of salt for approximately 20-25 minutes. Heat the oil and saute the carrots, celery and onions for about 5 minutes. Then pour the stock and simmer this preparation for some 10 minutes. After that, drain the cooked lentils and add them to this preparation along with tomatoes and garlic. Simmer for 10-15 minutes more. Then mix with the cornflour, add chubritza, salt and, pepper. Take off the heat and leave to cool for some minutes before you serve. If you wish, cook the sausages, and add them to the stew when you serve the dish.
The wine kebab, which can be served on a bed of rice, is also an excellent pork dish to try. The pork is cooked in a red wine sauce.
To accompany Rakia, salads are also a compulsory starter for every Bulgarian meal. If the traveller does not know or understand the names of most Bulgarian dishes, Shopska Salata is a safe option. It is made from cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, green peppers, and olive oil and is topped with a typical cheese from Bulgaria. Bulgarians love their salads. Other well-known Bulgarian salads that are really worth trying are:
- Snezhanka Salad is made from a creamy thick yoghurt, chopped gherkins or cucumber, garlic, and walnuts.
- Kyopulo is made from peppers, roasted aubergines, plenty of garlic, and some parsley.
Soups are also a very important element in the Bulgarian menu and again are really worth trying. The well known soups are :
- Taractor which is made of cold yoghurt and cucumber.
- Bob Chorba which is a tasty bean soup made with vinegar and chili.
Vegetarian travellers may also find the opportunity to taste Bulgarian cuisine, since there are plenty of delicious dishes based on vegetables. Two of the following dishes include Sirene, which is a typical Bulgarian white cheese.
Sirene po shopski consists of Sirene, tomatoes, egg and peppers which are baked together. Kashkaval pane containing fried Sirene (hence, this dish is also known as Sirene pane), and the third dish is called Chushki byurek consisting of fried peppers, stuffed Sirene, and egg.
To finish off your meal, coffee is often served along with varied pastries or cakes. Garash cake is the Bulgarian version of the Sacher Torte, made of walnuts, eggs, and cocoa.
Bulgaria is on the edge of the Black Sea and is nestled between Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Yugoslavia and Romania so thanks goes to these countries for their influence on Bulgarian dishes such as Moussaka, Baklava and Sarmi which is stuffed grape leaves.