Bulgarian cuisine incorporates Balkan gastronomic traditions and echoes of Greek, Hungarian, Armenian, Georgian, Italian, Turkish cuisines. Bulgarian dishes are appetizing, easy to prepare, flavored with seasonings and spices.
Characteristics of the national cuisine of Bulgaria
Residents of Bulgaria grow a lot of vegetables. They are consumed fresh, boiled, stewed, fried, stuffed. In addition to them, Bulgarians actively use greens in dishes: parsley, mint, laurel, thyme, rosemary and other spices, spices.
They like to cook products based on milk: yogurt, cheese. Meat is consumed moderately and mainly on holidays.
The dishes of the Bulgarian cuisine are very hearty and appetizing.
The menu on the tables of Bulgarians depends on the season: in winter more high-calorie dishes are served, in summer – cold, with the content of vegetables, greens, fermented milk ingredients.
Bulgarian cuisine has a positive effect on digestion and general health of the body, because the diet is dominated by vegetables containing the necessary vitamins. Fermented milk products are sources of protein, calcium.
The useful properties of the dishes of the national cuisine of Bulgaria are due to the fact that the food is cooked for a long time on a slow fire and retains its natural qualities.
The first recipes began to appear on the territory of Bulgaria in the II millennium BC, when the Thracians lived here. They grew vegetables, fruits, grapes, beans, cereals – wheat, barley, millet; lamb was consumed from meat. In addition, the food was fish, milk.
Since antiquity, red wines have been popular in Bulgaria, since many vineyards grew on the territory.
In the VIII century. in Bulgaria, several varieties of meat and poultry were common: pork, beef, etc. In the IX century. on the territory of the country, flour was ground at mills and bread was made, dairy farms were maintained. According to the testimonies of travelers of that time, Bulgarians in the Middle Ages ate meat and vegetable dishes, bread, milk, cereals and flour products from wheat, barley, rye, millet. From fats, lard, vegetable oil from nuts and olives were eaten.
Later, peas, cucumbers, onions, parsley, lentils, thyme, celery began to be grown on the territory of Bulgaria. In the XVI century. pepper became widespread. A few decades later, potatoes were introduced, which took their place in the diet.
Bulgarian culinary traditions were influenced by Mediterranean cuisine due to the country’s proximity to Greece, Armenia, Turkey and the seizure of the Ottoman Empire. But thanks to this influence, the cuisine of Bulgaria has enriched itself and developed its own customs.
Among the popular cooking technologies, Bulgarians use frying, boiling, baking, stewing and marinating.
The products are boiled and simmered over low heat for several hours. Meat can be stewed, cooked on coals using a grate – “skary”. Hot dishes due to such methods of preparation are thick, nutritious.
Many dishes are harvested at home in canned food, consuming them then for several months. To preserve the meat, it is salted, isolated from the air, dried.
From processed vegetables make sauerkraut mixtures, from fruits – jam, marmalade, pastille. The latter are added as components in the manufacture of alcoholic beverages.
Main Products and Ingredients
Many dishes include pork and poultry.
The most common ingredients here, in addition to meat, are:
- eggs (chicken, quail);
- siren (a type of cheese);
- kashkaval – yellow cheese;
Bulgarians widely use herbs, spices, fruits. Fish from the seas, lakes, rivers also occupies one of the leading places in the menu.
They love to make salads from vegetables. Before cooking, they are removed from the skin.
Popular Bulgarian cuisine
The menu of Bulgarians presents many salads, appetizers, pea and bean soups, fish in fried, baked, stewed species.
Popular sauces are made from white wine, sour milk.
This is a soup based on veal, with the addition of carrots, potatoes, onions, celery to the broth. The dish is cooked for several hours.
Veal soup and lamb fried on a spit are national dishes of Bulgarian cuisine.
In another way, barbecue is called cheverme. It is a whole roasted lamb on a spit.
The Bulgarian dish Banitsa refers to the appetizers. It can be included in the menu of traditional breakfasts. This is a lush layer cake, which is based on a yeast-free thin dough – filo.
Between the layers are placed beaten eggs with thinly sliced cheese – siren. Meat, vegetable, fruit filling can be added to the banitsa.
It is used for banitsa by pumpkin, onions, spinach, cabbage, rice, etc.
Ezik in oil
This is a dish made of tongue fried in butter. For its preparation, veal and pork are used. The tongue is boiled with the addition of bay leaves, black pepper, fried. Sometimes the meat is rolled in a breading of flour, eggs, crackers.
The dish is consumed hot, before serving on the table decorated with greens.
This dish is considered an appetizer. It consists of pork or veal meat, cut into small pieces, fried with onions and peppers in oil.
Meat is baked and stewed in a special pot of clay with mushrooms, add white wine to it as a sauce. Before serving, the meze is decorated with parsley.
It’s a pepper dish, a warm appetizer.
To prepare it, you need to fry a sweet vegetable, fill it with cheese, eggs, parsley or dill, dip in breading, deep-fry.
The dish has a crispy crust. It is served with a sour sauce of garlic and yogurt or with fresh salads.
It is a meat delicacy reminiscent of prosciutto. Pork leg is used to make bute. It is cut, salted, dried in an oak barrel, then rinsed with sauerkraut juice, boiling water and air-dried for six months.
A small kebab is a cutlet grilled on the grill. They are considered street food.
Kebapche is made from pork and beef spicy minced meat, add onions, eggs, spices to it. They are served with potatoes or cheese.
The food in Bulgaria is very hearty and appetizing in appearance.
This dish is made of white cheese and baked tomatoes. It is baked in pottery.
Products are laid out in layers, seasoned with parsley, chili, an egg is placed on top.
This is a dish of eggs, tomatoes, peppers. Siren, fried onions are added to it, mish-mash is salted.
It has a winter version with frozen vegetables.
It is a yellow sheep’s milk cheese, fried and breaded in a special way. It is considered a snack.
This is a dish from the outskirts of the city of Chirpana, consisting of meatballs and concentrated tomato sauce.
To prepare them, you will need minced meat, onions, eggs, salt, flour, pepper, cumin. In the sauce, in addition to tomatoes, add parsley, garlic, celery.
This dish is prepared from fried eggplant, garlic. It is considered a snack, an ingredient for sandwiches (spread on bread), a side dish to meat.
Tomatoes, onions, chili, laurel, parsley, roasted capia peppers, ground walnuts can be added to the recipe for this vegetable spread.
The dish has a long shelf life. It is prepared at the end of the summer and kept in jars.
These are poached eggs with the addition of sirene, Bulgarian yogurt. The dish is not complete without paprika, garlic. Panagyurski eggs – garnish; they are served with bread.
It is a soup of boiled white beans, carrots, tomatoes, peppers and onions. Mint, spices, bacon, sausages are put in it.
On Christmas Eve, a festive version of the bob-chorba is prepared using lean beans. The soup is served hot in a clay dish.
This “bohemian” salad is a festive dish. It contains tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, roasted peppers. It is seasoned with butter, sprinkled with grated cheese.
This is a cold soup, which is optimal to eat on a hot summer day. It takes little time to prepare, the tarator is quickly infused.
The soup is prepared on the basis of sour milk or natural homemade yogurt, add greens, mint, finely chopped or grated cucumbers. It consists of vegetable oil, dill, salt and walnuts. Sometimes grated garlic is put there to give the taste piquancy.
This hot dish consists of pork meat, tomatoes, onions and dried peppers and is a delicious addition to scrambled eggs. It is fried in a frying pan.
This is a meat stew made of pork or other varieties of meat (beef, rabbit, lamb), which is stewed in the oven in a clay pot with a lid. The pot is also called a güveç.
Seasonal vegetables, mushrooms, legumes, peppers, herbs, spices are added to meat. The dish is cooked on a quiet fire for several hours.
This is a soup of rumen, milk, flour. Wine vinegar, garlic, paprika and chili peppers are added to it.
The rumen is the stomachs of large farm animals.
This is a dish of tomatoes and red peppers, to which chili, onions, butter, salt and sugar are added.
To prepare luteenitsa, pepper is fried, cut into large pieces and stewed with other ingredients.
It is served with meat, bread, toast. This dish is optimally prepared closer to the end of August, when the vegetables have ripened and acquired high taste qualities.
This dish is considered a festive delicacy. It contains many ingredients.
To cook kapama, you need meat (pork, veal, poultry, rabbit), sauerkraut, blood sausage, Bulgarian sujuk, lard, rice, spices, greens. Spices should be added: laurel, black pepper, paprika.
Kapama is one of the most delicious dishes of Bulgarian cuisine.
The ingredients are placed in layers in a container of clay and simmered in an oven in an airtight cauldron for 4 hours over low heat.
This is a dish of potatoes and cheese, to which meat is added to taste. The vegetarian version of patatnik does not contain it.
The ingredients also include egg, onion, salt, different varieties of pepper, mint, oil. Patatnik is baked in the oven and served with yogurt and vegetables.
This is a hearty festive soup, which is prepared from different varieties of meat, tomato juice, carrots, add onions and herbs to it.
Minced meat soup
Such a soup of minced pork or beef meat is called shkembe-chorba. To achieve the desired aroma, the chefs add garlic, vinegar, different varieties of pepper to it.
Ingots of paleni with oriz
These are peppers stuffed with rice.
The top, the core of the vegetable is removed, it is filled with beef and pork, rice, baked in the oven. Shortly before the dish is ready, a raw egg or egg-yogurt sauce with milk is poured into each portion of it.
He is “Snow Maiden”. Prepared from fresh cucumbers, dill, garlic. Butter, salt, walnuts, parsley are added to the dish and seasoned with strained yogurt.
It consists of 5 meringue cakes, walnuts covered with chocolate glaze.
Traditional Bulgarian drinks
The national drinks of Bulgaria are kisselo mlyako, boza, coffee, wine, rakija.
Several varieties of wines are produced in the country. It is believed that the best red is done in the south, and white – in the north.
In the south, semi-sweet pamid wines, dry and dessert mavrud are popular; to the north are dessert g’emza.
The main grape varieties from which wine is produced:
Among the strong alcohol, Bulgarian rakija stands out – a homemade drink based on apricots, peaches, plums and grapes. Honey, nuts, anise, cherries are added to it. This drink is prepared in oak containers. After that, it should be infused for at least 6 months.
Bulgarians produce cognac, mastic – anise vodka with a content of 47 ° alcohol, beer and mentu – mint liqueur.
Rakija and boza are the national Bulgarian drinks.
The national drinks include bose, made from cereals and containing up to 1% alcohol. It is brown in color, sweet and sour in taste, thick in consistency.
One of the characteristic drinks of Bulgarians is zamrazeno kisselo mlyako – Bulgarian yogurt. It is an ingredient in many dishes and independent too. Yogurt has useful and nutritious properties. On its basis, desserts and ice cream are prepared, syrup and berries are added to it.
Bulgarians like to drink black, oriental, herbal drink (bilkov tea).
Other Bulgarian dishes
Other interesting traditional dishes of Bulgaria include:
- saw with a bilka – chicken stewed with butter, basil and oregano;
- puree of nuts and cheese – a paste for snacks from homemade sirene cheese, crushed together with walnuts, dill, cilantro;
- turshia – a dish of vegetables marinated in vinegar, sugar and brine – peppers, carrots, cabbage, tomatoes, onions, garlic;
- palakia is a popular fish dish of stewed fillets with fresh vegetables;
- tsatsa – a snack of small herrings, which are rolled in flour and deep-fried;
- pai apples – a dessert of shortbread dough, sour or sweet apples with the peel and core removed, cinnamon, vanilla.
Recipes of Bulgarian cuisine
Below are a few recipes of national Bulgarian dishes.
Domashna selska gozba
You will need the following products:
- 2 potatoes ;
- 2 onions;
- 1 tomato;
- 4 eggs;
- 4 tbsp sunflower oil;
- salt, pepper of different varieties, parsley – to taste.
The dish is cooked for about 45 minutes.
- Cut the potatoes into cubes. Fry in heated oil until golden.
- Add chopped onions to the potatoes. Fry for 5 minutes over high heat, then simmer on a small one for another 10.
- Chop the tomato, add to the potatoes and onions. Put pepper and salt in the dish. Simmer under a closed lid until the vegetable is tender.
- Pour the raw eggs into the dish, sprinkle them on top of the parsley, close the lid again. Simmer until the eggs are ready.
The dish can be served with 1 egg per serving.
Seele with oriz
To prepare this family hot dish, you need the following products (for 8 servings):
- 1.5 kg of pork with fat;
- 1 fork of white cabbage weighing 3 kg;
- 1 tbsp. with a mound of rice;
- 150 g tomato paste;
- 5 bay leaves ;
- paprika, black pepper, red hot – to taste.
The dish is cooked for about 1 hour.
Zele with oriz is a dish that is somewhat reminiscent of lazy cabbage rolls.
Prepare it like this:
- Cut the meat and lard into large pieces. Heat the cauldron, pour meat into it. Add spices and bay leaves on top. Fry over high heat until the lard is melted. Then make the heat smaller, fry the meat until ready.
- Chop the cabbage into thick slices. Place it and chopped onions in the meat. Stir and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add the washed rice to the cabbage. Put the tomato in. Stir well again.
- Pour water over the dish and simmer until the rice is ready.
Cheese casserole with pepper
To prepare this snack, you will need the following products:
- 6 bell peppers;
- 130 g suluguni or kashkavala cheese;
- 1 clove of garlic;
- vegetable oil, salt, red hot pepper, oregano, garlic – to taste.
The casserole takes about an hour and a half.
Follow the recipe:
- Bake the peppers in the oven at 200°C for about 40 minutes. Put it in a separate bag to make it easier to clean.
- Rid him of the skin, the seeds; Cut.
- Grease the baking dish with butter, put most of the pepper in it. Add salt, spices, finely chopped garlic to taste.
- Thinly slice the cheese. Put the rest of the pepper on its pieces, add salt, spices.
- Place the dish in the oven, preheated to 200°C, bake until golden brown.
The casserole is served hot.
In Bulgarian cuisine, among other delicious dishes that are worth trying, moussaka is distinguished – a vegetable casserole, the recipe of which came from the Middle East.
A popular Bulgarian sausage is raw-dried lucanca, similar to sujuk. It is prepared from pork, beef with the addition of spices. Among the latter, it is recommended to try “sharena salt”.
Cream caramel is a dessert that is advised to tourists. It is similar to egg-milk pudding. This delicate natural dish is offered in restaurants, cafes, hotels and supermarkets.