Bulgarian cuisine is diverse and delicious, consisting of various local dishes, salads, breadstuffs, stews and other. She is one of the tastiest cuisines in Europe. Bulgarian home cooking is very seasonal and although nowadays you can enjoy most dishes all year round they are still at their best when the ingredients are fresh and in season and naturally grown. Many of the dishes are prepared according to traditional recipes. Products for which Bulgaria is internationally known are yogurt and white brine (feta) cheese. These are almost always present on Bulgarian tables in one form or another.
Let’s start exploring Bulgarian cuisine…
Which are locally produced foods:
Dairy products: plain yogourt, fresh milk and cheese, cows’ milk, goat and buffalo milk; Bulgarian white brined cheese (sirene) and yellow semi-matured cheese (kashkaval).
Meat: lamb, pork, beef, ostrich, chicken, fish
Vegetables: cabbage, potatoes, tomatoes, green peppers, cucumbers, aubergines, garlic, courgettes, pumpkins, spinach, cauliflower, lima beans, lettuce, radishes, mushrooms…
Fruits: cherries, apples, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, peaches, pears, plums, watermelons, apricots
Herbs: thyme, rosemary, tarragon, sage, bay leaf, coriander
Nuts: walnuts, peanuts, hazelnuts, almonds, chestnuts
Bulgarians always start the meal with a salad, usually accompanied by a glass of rakia ( a oflocal spirit made from grapes or plums and has an ABV – alcohol by volume of 40%) or maybe in the summer months a mastika (an aniseed-based spirit similar to the Greek ouzo). Bulgarian cuisine offers slowly prepared dishes with generous use of flavor-packed vegetables and herbs. For historical reasons, the traditional Bulgarian cuisine is heavily influenced by Turkish, Greek and Middle Eastern cuisines.
Bulgarian salads: Shopska salad, Snezhanka or mlechna salata, Kyopoulu, Turshia
Bulgarian starters: Chushki byurek, Sirene po shopski, Podlucheni tikvichki
Bulgarian main dishes: Gyuvech, Kavarma, Moussaka, Nervosni kyufteta, Kebapcheta, Shish, Guyvetche, Pasturva (trout)
Bulgarian snacks: Banitsa, Mekitsi, Gevrek, Tutmanik, Kiselo mlyako