10 dishes you should definitely try in Bulgaria
The Bulgarian cuisine is one of the most famous cuisines on the Balkans and among the Slavic nations. It is characterized by the excellent taste of the meals and the exceptional diversity. Most of the recipes are transmitted from generation to generation for ages.
Most of the dishes included in the Bulgarian National cuisine are great mix of ingredients (products and spices) we use everyday. Almost every person has them available at home which makes the preparation of our delicious food quick and easy.
While yogurt and white cheese are the most characteristic and famous Bulgarian products, which represent our country around the world, other meals such as tarator, bob chorba and shopska salad also deserve attention.
Banitsa is a traditional pastry usually filled with white cheese. It can be filled with also with meat, spinach, etc. Banitsa is one of the tastiest dishes and definitely one of the typical foods in Bulgaria.
2. Tarator (cool cucumber soup)
Tarator is a Bulgarian cold soup consisted of yogurt, cucumbers, water and spices. The arguments about its origins are severe as the Greeks believe that we (Bulgarians) stole their salad (made of yogurt and cucumbers only) and just added some extra water in it. Some sources indicate that Tarator is cooked for the first time in the country far away from the Greek border and no interaction with the culinary traditions of Hellenic heirs is indicated.
3. Shkembe chorba (tripe soup)
Bulgarians definitely love this soup. It is made of beef tummies and can be served both hot and cold. The tradition says that shkembe chorba is one of the best ways to cure hangover after a long night accompanied with lots of alcohol.
Sarmi is prepared in different ways, using different type of leaves for wrapping and stuffing them. The leaves can be both cabbage and vine and the filling varies from rice, meat, vegetables, etc.
5. Bob chorba (bean soup)
This soup is associated with the Bulgarian oldest traditions and customs. In the past bob chorba was preferred dish, especially for the poorer people. Nowadays, we eat it on regular basis just because it is delicious and easily made.
6. Shopska salad
This typical Bulgarian salad is prepared of chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, onions, fresh parsley and grated white cheese. Season dressing vegetable oil (vegetable oil), wine or cider vinegar (if wanted) can be added. We decorate the salad with grated cheese and sprig with fresh parsley, black olives or little hot pepper. The dish is served mainly in the summer and combines very well with chilled traditional Bulgarian spirits such as rakia.
This dish is enjoyed in many variations throughout the Balkan region. The Bulgarian version involves potatoes, eggs and minced pork meat and is a known favorite of Bulgarian men, among whom it is a popular joke that they cannot marry a woman who is unable to cook the perfect mussaka.
Ask a Bulgarian and they would say this thick relish of tomatoes and peppers is the best thing you can spread on your toast. Nowadays it is commercially produced and sold in small jars, though it is still commonly made at home by many Bulgarian families. Due to the onions, garlic and cumin used to make it, lyutenitsa is always going to be at least somewhat hot in taste, to which it owes it name… and its popularity.
This is one of the most popular meals in Bulgaria, which is not so famous outside the country. The ingredients and preparations depend on the region. Almost every part of Bulgaria has it’s own Kavarma recipe. In general, the meal consists of marinated cooked meat and vegetables. It could be mild or spicy depending on the region and the likings. Goes perfectly well with beer or rakia.
Mekitsa is a traditional Bulgarian dish (a typical Bulgarian breakfast) made of kneaded dough made with yogurt that is deep-fried. When served, mekitsa is often powdered with icing sugar or garnished with jam, honey or sirene (white cheese). It can also be eaten with yogurt.