Tarator is a cold soup made of yogurt, water, minced cucumber, dill, garlic, and sunflower or olive oil.
Tarator is a cold soup made of yogurt, water, minced cucumber, dill, garlic, and sunflower or olive oil.
Bulgarian Kebab with Rice.
Traditional Bulgarian Christmas Eve dish Sarmi
Traditional Bulgarian Christmas Eve dish Sarmi

Bulgarian cuisine (Bulgarian: българска кухня, romanizedbǎlgarska kuhnja) is a representative of the cuisine of Southeast Europe. It shares characteristics with other Balkan 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 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, veal, chicken or pork. Deep-frying is not common, but grilling – especially different kinds of sausages – is very prominent. Pork is common, often mixed with veal 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 meat 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 dairy product.[2]

Bulgarian cuisine shares a number of dishes with Middle Eastern cuisine, including popular dishes like moussaka, gyuvetch, kyufte and baklava. 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 conjunction 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.

History

It includes a significant contribution from Ottoman cuisine,[3][4] including baklava, ayran, gyuvech, moussaka,[5] and shish kebab.[6][7] It shares also many characteristics with other Balkan cuisines.

Traditional Bulgarian foods

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

Bulgarian breakfast

Cold cuts

Soups and stews

Salads

Sauces, relishes, and appetizers

Lyutenica is a traditional Bulgarian sauce made from tomatoes and peppers
Lyutenica is a traditional Bulgarian sauce made from tomatoes and peppers

Skara (grill)

Shishcheta.
Shishcheta.

Main dishes

Traditional Bulgarian grill (Skara)- Tatarsko kufte
Traditional Bulgarian grill (Skara)- Tatarsko kufte
Cheverme grill from the Rhodopes.
Cheverme grill from the Rhodopes.
Whole pigs, roasted on charcoal in Pernik.
Whole pigs, roasted on charcoal in Pernik.
Bulgarian Kavarma (left) and Yahniya (right)

Breads and pastries

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

Dairy products

Vacuum packed Kashkaval cheese in Bulgarian store.
Vacuum packed Kashkaval cheese in Bulgarian store.

Bulgaria has a strong tradition of using milk and dairy products.[5] Bulgaria even has a namesake strain of bacteria used to make many of its cheeses and fermented foods which gives it a distinct in its flavor. This strain is called Lactobacillus bulgaricus.

Sweets

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.
Baked pumpkin with walnuts.
A tahini-based halva with pistachios
A tahini-based halva with pistachios
Kozunak as prepared in Bulgaria for Orthodox Easter
Kozunak as prepared in Bulgaria for Orthodox Easter
Garash cake.

Spices and herbs

Other staples

Traditional Bulgarian drinks

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

Wine

Main article: Bulgarian wine

Distilled liquors

Beer

Fermented beverages

Hot beverages

See also

Notes

  1. ^ (April 2006). "Bulgaria Poultry and Products Meat Market Update." Thepoultrysite.com. Accessed July 2011.
  2. ^ "Bulgarians celebrate the art of 'true' homemade yoghurt". Timesofmalta.com. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  3. ^ Stefan Detchev, "From Istanbul to Sarajevo via Belgrade—A Bulgarian Cookbook of 1874", doi:10.1163/9789004367548_015 in Earthly Delights: Economies and Cultures of Food in Ottoman and Danubian Europe, c. 1500–1900, 2018, Balkan Studies Library 23, ISBN 978-90-04-36754-8, p. 396
  4. ^ Iskra Velinova, "The Pleasures of Being Global: Cultural Consumption of Pizza and Sushi in a Bulgarian City", Approaching Consumer Culture, doi:10.1007/978-3-030-00226-8_8, p. 190
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Deutsch, p. 87-88.
  6. ^ Culinary Cultures of Europe, ISBN 9789287157447, p. 98
  7. ^ A considerable number of dishes belonging to the “Bulgarian " cuisine are in fact borrowed from the Ottomans. Turkish cuisine forms the core of Balkan cuisine For more see: Evgenia Krăsteva-Blagoeva,Tasting the Balkans: Food and Identity in Region, Regional Identity and Regionalism in Southeastern Europe, Part 2, Ethnologia Balkanica, Editors Klaus Roth, Ulf Brunnbauer, Lit Verlag, 2009, ISBN 3643101074, p. 33.
  8. ^ name="deutsch"/>Deutsch, p. 87-88.
  9. ^ a b c Bousfield & Willis, p. 232.
  10. ^ Dublin, p. 138.
  11. ^ a b Bousfield & Richardson, p. 40.
  12. ^ Robert Sietsema, New York in a Dozen Dishes (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015), p. 112.
  13. ^ Jonathan Bousfield & Dan Richardson, A Rough Guide to Bulgaria (Rough Guides, 2002), p. 40.
  14. ^ Nichola Fletcher, Sausage: A Country-By-Country Photographic Guide With Recipes (DK: 2012), p. 217.
  15. ^ a b c d Ross, p. 67.
  16. ^ Kay, p. 57.
  17. ^ Kay, p. 57; Ross, p. 67; Kelsey Kinser, Vegan Beans from Around the World: 100 Adventurous Recipes for the Most Delicious, Nutritious, and Flavorful Bean Dishes Ever (Ulysses Press, 2014), p. 29.
  18. ^ DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Bulgaria, p. 233.
  19. ^ Sachsenroeder, p. 144; Deutsch, p. 88.
  20. ^ Kay, p. 57; Ross, p. 70.
  21. ^ a b Sachsenroeder, p. 143.
  22. ^ Deutsch, p. 88; Sachsenroeder, p. 143.
  23. ^ Sachsenroeder, p. 143; Kay, pp. 56-57; Richard Watkins & Christopher Deliso, Bulgaria (Lonely Planet, 2008), p. 55.
  24. ^ Ross, p. 63; Kay, p. 57.
  25. ^ Kay, p. 57, Sachsenroeder, p. 143; DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Bulgaria (DK: rev. ed. 2011), p. 233
  26. ^ Deutsch, p. 87; Bousfield & Willis, p. 232.
  27. ^ Lay, p. 57.
  28. ^ Tropcheva et al., Antifungal activity and identification of Lactobacilli, isolated from traditional dairy product "katak", Anaerobe (2014), doi: 10.1016/j.anaerobe.2014.05.010.

References