Last modified on 25 October 2014, at 07:51

Bulgarian cuisine

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Tarator is a cold soup made of yogurt, water, minced cucumber, dill, garlic, and sunflower or olive oil (Chips are also sometimes added).
Traditional Bulgarian Christmas Eve dish Sarmi

Bulgarian cuisine (Bulgarian: българска кухня, balgarska kuhnya) is a representative of the cuisine of Southeastern Europe. Essentially South Slavic[citation needed][clarification needed][vague], it shares characteristics with other Balkans cuisines. Bulgarian cooking traditions are diverse because of geographical factors such as climatic conditions suitable for a variety of vegetables, herbs and fruit. Aside from the vast variety of local Bulgarian dishes, Bulgarian cuisine shares a number of dishes with the Middle Eastern, Italian and Russian cuisines.

Bulgarian food often incorporates salads as appetizers and is also noted for the prominence of dairy products, wines and other alcoholic drinks such as rakia. The cuisine also features a variety of soups, such as the cold soup tarator, and pastries, such as the filo dough based banitsa, pita and the various types of Börek.

Main courses are very typically water-based stews, either vegetarian or with lamb, goat meat, beef, chicken or pork. Deep-frying is not common, but grilling - especially different kinds of sausages - is very prominent. Pork is common, often mixed with beef or lamb, although fish and chicken are also widely used. While most cattle are bred for milk production rather than meat, veal is popular for grilling meats appetizers (meze) and in some main courses. As a substantial exporter of lamb, Bulgaria's own consumption is notable, especially in the spring.[1]

Similarly to other Balkan cultures the per capita consumption of yogurt (Bulgarian: кисело мляко, kiselo mlyako, lit. "sour milk") among Bulgarians is traditionally higher than the rest of Europe. The country is notable as the historical namesake for Lactobacillus bulgaricus, a microorganism chiefly responsible for the local variety of the dairy product.[2][3] Yogurt has been cultivated and consumed as far back as 3000 BC.[4]

Bulgarian cuisine shares a number of dishes with the Middle Eastern Cuisine as well as a limited number with the Indian, particularly Gujrat cuisine. The culinary exchange with the East started as early as 7th century AD, when traders started bringing herbs and spices to the First Bulgarian Empire from India and Persia via the Roman and later Byzantine empires.[5] This is evident from the wide popularity of dishes like moussaka, gyuvetch, kyufte and baklava, which are common in Middle Eastern cuisine today. White brine cheese called "sirene" (сирене), similar to feta, is also a popular ingredient used in salads and a variety of pastries.

Holidays are often observed in conjecture with certain meals. On Christmas Eve, for instance, tradition requires vegetarian stuffed peppers and cabbage leaf sarmi, New Year's Eve usually involves cabbage dishes, Nikulden (Day of St. Nicholas, December 6) fish (usually carp), while Gergyovden (Day of St. George, May 6) is typically celebrated with roast lamb.

Traditional Bulgarian foodsEdit

Traditional Bulgarian cold cut - Lukanka
Traditional Bulgarian soup Telesko vareno
Soup Topcheta (left) and Shkembe chorba (right)
Green salad (left) and Shopska salad(right)
Stuffed peppers

Cold cutsEdit

SoupsEdit

Salads and relishesEdit

Sauces and appetizersEdit

Lyutenica is a traditional Bulgarian sauce made from tomatoes and peppers

Hot appetizersEdit

  • Katino meze (Hot starter with chopped pork meat, onion, mushrooms with fresh butter and spices.)
  • Drob po selski (Chopped Liver with onion, or only with butter.)
  • Ezik v maslo (Sliced tongue in butter.)
  • Sirene pane (Breaded Bulgarian White cheese bites.)
  • Kashkaval pane (Breaded Kashkaval bites.)
  • Mussels in butter (With onion and fresh herbs, traditionally from Sozopol.)

Skara (Grill)Edit

Shishcheta.
  • Kyufte (Meatballs of minced beef and pork meat, seasoned with traditional spices and shaped in a flattened ball)
  • Kebapche (Similar to meatballs, though seasoned with cumin and shaped in a stick)
  • Parjola (Pork Steak, chop or flank)
  • Shishcheta (Marinated pieces of chicken and/or pork and vegetables.)
  • Karnache (A type of sausage with special spices)
  • Nadenitsa (A type of sausage with special spices)
  • Tatarsko kyufte (Stuffed meatballs)
  • Nevrozno kyufte (Very piquant meatballs)
  • Chicken in caul
  • Cheverme (Used in celebrations such as weddings, graduations and birthdays: a whole animal, traditionally a pig, but also chicken or a lamb, is slowly cooked in open fire, rotated manually on a wooden skewer from 4 to 7 hours.)
  • Meshana skara (Mixed grill)
  • Grilled Vegetables (Usually garnish or a side dish)
  • Grilled Fish (Salt- or freshwater)

Main dishesEdit

Traditional Bulgarian grill (Skara)- Tatarsko kufte
Cheverme grill from the Rhodopes.
  • Gyuvech
  • Yahniya
  • Plakiya
  • Sarma
  • Drob Sarma
  • Wine, Tepsi or Tas kebab
  • Kavarma
  • Kapama
  • Mish Mash (Popular summer dish made with tomatoes, peppers, onion, feta cheese, eggs and fresh spices)
  • Pilaf (Rice with chopped meat, vegetables or mussels)
  • Chomlek
  • Mlin
  • Stuffed courgettes
  • Stuffed peppers
  • Peppers börek
  • Roasted beans
  • Beans with sausage
  • Pork with rice
  • Roasted Chicken with Potatoes
  • Pork with Cabbage
  • Chicken with Cabbage
  • Roasted Potatoes
  • Drusan kebab
  • Rice with chicken
  • Tatarian Meatball
  • Meatball(s) with White Sauce Stew
  • Kjufteta po Chirpanski (Meatballs with potatoes; a recipe from Chirpan)
  • Meatloaf 'Rulo "Stephanie"'
  • Potato balls with Sauce
  • Panagyurishte-Style Eggs
  • Fried Courgettes with Yogurt Sauce
  • Chicken in katmi (Popular in a "Thracian" variety)
  • Fish Zelnik (With Sauerkraut and Rice)
  • Fish in pastry (Usually in celebration of St. Nicholas)
  • Stuffed Carp or Nikuldenski Carp (Prepared for the Feast of St. Nicholas)
Bulgarian Kavarma (left) and Yahniya (right)

Breads and pastriesEdit

Traditional Bulgarian pogacha (left) and a pile of mekitsi with jam (right)

Dairy ProductsEdit

Vacuum packed Kashkaval cheese in Bulgarian store.

Bulgaria as a homeland of yogurt has a strong tradition in the making of a variety of dairy products.

SweetsEdit

The name Halva (халва) is used for several related varieties of the Middle Eastern dessert. Tahan/Tahini halva (тахан/тахини халва) is the most popular version, available in two different types with sunflower and with sesame seed. Traditionally, the regions of Yablanitsa and Haskovo are famous manufacturers of halva.

Baked pumpkin with walnuts.
A tahini-based halva with pistachios
Kozunak as prepared in Bulgaria for orthodox Easter
Kazanlak donuts.
  • Pumpkin Dessert
  • Baklava
  • Buhti with yogurt
  • Cookies "Peach" or Praskovki
  • Fruit bread
  • Garash cake ("Torta Garash")
  • Katmi with jam or honey and/or cheese (Today usually with added chocolate)
  • Kazanlak Donuts
  • Kompot
  • Kozunak
  • Kurabiiki
  • Lokum
  • Maslenki
  • Milk with Rice
  • Oshav
  • Tart with cherries or sour cherries (Traditionally from Bobovdol)
  • Tart with different fruits
  • Tatlii
  • Tikvenik
  • Tulumbichki

Spices and herbsEdit

Other staplesEdit

Traditional Bulgarian drinksEdit

Perushtitsa Mavrud wine
A bottle of Zagorka in a traditional mehana
Pelin is a bitter liqueur based on wormwood

WineEdit

Main article: Bulgarian wine

Distilled liquorsEdit

BeerEdit

Fermented beveragesEdit

  • Boza (Most popular recipes are from Radomir and Lyubimets)
  • Ayran or Ayryan
  • Matenitsa (Bulgarian Buttermilk)
  • Etar
  • Pitie (Drinks prepared from different squeezed fruit or herbs, whose juice is usually kept for several days to a month before consumption)

Hot beveragesEdit

  • Tea (Usually prepared with one or several herbs and/or fruits)
  • Greyana Rakiya (boiled rakiya; winter alcoholic beverage)
  • Greyano Vino (winter alcoholic beverage)

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit