Shopska salad
Shopska salad as served in Bulgaria
Alternative namesBulgarian salad
Place of originBulgaria, Bulgarian Black Sea Coast, Druzhba resort[1]
Region or stateSoutheastern Europe
Main ingredientsTomatoes, cucumbers, onions, peppers, sirene
Ingredients for Shopska salad
One of the first Balkantourist hotels in the Black Sea resort where the salad was invented. (early 1950s.)

Shopska salad (Bulgarian, Macedonian and Serbian: Шопска салата; Croatian: Šopska salata; Romanian: Salata bulgărească; Czech: Šopský salát; Albanian: Sallatë Fshati; Hungarian: Sopszka saláta; Greek: Σαλάτα σόπσκα) is a cold salad popular throughout Southeastern Europe.[2][3][4] It is Bulgaria's most famous salad and national dish, whose colors recall the Bulgarian flag.[5]


It is made from tomatoes, cucumbers, onion/scallions, raw or roasted peppers, sirene (white brine cheese).[6][7] The vegetables are usually diced and salted, followed by a light dressing of sunflower oil (or olive oil, which is less authentic),[8] which is occasionally complemented by vinegar. The addition of vinegar contributes, however, to the sour flavour that the tomatoes impart. In restaurants, the dressings are provided separately. Lastly, the vegetables are covered in a thick layer of grated or diced sirene cheese. This salad is often consumed as an appetizer with rakia.


Balkantourist invention

For the first time the term "Shopska salad" was used in a Bulgarian cookbook from 1940. It was actually used for a recipe of some kind of lyutenitsa, and had nothing to do with the subsequent use of this designation.[9] The salad was created as a culinary product in the state tourist agency "Balkantourist" in 1955.[10] Despite the fact that the salad's name comes from the westernmost Bulgarian region called Shopluk, it was actually invented in its easternmost region. The salad appeared at the Black Sea coast, in a resort near Varna, called Druzhba. It can be found in one of the first state-approved cookbooks from 1956 (Sbornik recepti 1956, vol. 1, p. 50).[11] The development and popularization of the salad is attributed to the doyen of Bulgarian tourism Petar Doychev(1924-2019).[12][13][14] It is a product of early organized tourism in Bulgaria, and part of tourist promotion,[15] the only survivor of five or six similar recipes.[16] The ingredients used were chosen in part because they resemble the three colors of the Bulgarian flag, and thus would evoke a national sentiment.[17] The salad had become initially an emblem of the Bulgarian tourism.[18] It was approved as a national culinary symbol during the 1970s and 1980s.[19] In 2014 Shopska salad turned out to be Bulgaria's most recognizable dish in Europe. It was the most popular recipe in a European Parliament initiative called A Taste of Europe.[20]

Origin dispute

From Bulgaria, the recipe spread to the cuisine of neighboring countries. Because the area of Shopluk is divided among Bulgaria, Serbia and North Macedonia,[21] after the breakup of Yugoslavia chefs there began to contest the Bulgarian origin of the salad.[22] It is claimed as a local product even in Croatia.[23] However, Miroslav Stefanović (Maystor Miro), a four-time Serbian gastronomy chef champion who owned the most popular chain of Serbian restaurants in Bulgaria, was adamant that the Shopska salad is Bulgarian.[24] It is also widely known in Romania under the name Bulgarian salad.

See also


  1. ^ Dining in Utopia: A Taste of the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast under Socialism. Mary Neuburger. Winter 2017, Vol. 17 No. 4, (pp. 48-60) DOI: 10.1525/gfc.2017.17.
  2. ^ Culinary Cultures of Europe: Identity Diversity And Dialogue, Stephen Mennell, Darra J. Goldstein, Kathrin Merkle, Fabio Parasecoli, Council of Europe, 2005 Archived 2023-04-22 at the Wayback Machine, ISBN 9287157448, p. 101.
  3. ^ Food Cultures of the World Encyclopedia, Ken Albala, ABC-CLIO, 2011 Archived 2023-05-12 at the Wayback Machine, ISBN 0313376263, p. 67.
  4. ^ Mangia Bene! New American Family Cookbooks, Kate DeVivo, Capital Books, 2002, ISBN 1892123851, p. 170. Archived 2023-05-12 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Abel Polese, Oleksandra Seliverstova, Emilia Pawlusz, Jeremy Morris as ed., Informal Nationalism After Communism: The Everyday Construction of Post-Socialist Identities; Bloomsbury Publishing, 2018; ISBN 1838608745, p .156.
  6. ^ "Simple Treasures in Bulgaria, Martin Miller-Yianni, Martin Miller-Yianni, 2008, p. 11". Archived from the original on 2023-05-12. Retrieved 2023-03-16.
  7. ^ "Balkan Cuisine: Shopska Salad". Archived from the original on October 15, 2012. Retrieved November 21, 2012.
  8. ^ Zhang, Jenny. "Shopska Salad: A Bulgarian Necessity". Organically Blissful. Archived from the original on 20 December 2016. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  9. ^ Стефан Дечев, Обичам шопската салата...или как се ражда един национален кулинарен символ. в-к Капитал, 23 декември 2010. Archived 2021-04-29 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Дечев, Стефан. Българска, но не точно шопска. За един от кулинарните символи, Български фолклор, год. ХХХVІ, 2010, кн. 1, с. 130 – 131, 133, 136.
  11. ^ Klaus Roth, Ulf Brunnbauer as ed., Region, Regional Identity and Regionalism in Southeastern Europe, vol. 2. Ethnologia Balkanica; Lit Verlag, 2009, ISBN 3643101074, p. 26.
  12. ^ He is known as the creator of the technology of the famous brand "Shopska salad".... For more see: The doyen of Bulgarian tourism, who invented the Shopska salad, died. Newspaper 24 часа 07.08.2019 г. Archived 2020-10-03 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ The original recipe for the Salad was invented and established in 1954-55 in the restaurant "Chernomorets" in the resort "St. St. Constantine and Helena" ("Druzhba" 1957 - 1992). Шопската салата била "изобретена" от "Балкантурист" през 1955 г., твърди експерт. В-к Дневник онлайн, 30 дек. 2018 г. Archived 2019-02-02 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Per Petar Doychev, at that time he and his colleagues were assembled in the restaurant "Chernomorets" by the leadership of the resort and it was said: "Think about something new, we can not offer only several salads to the guests." The chefs brought different products and began to offer variants for a new salad - fresh vegetables: cucumber, tomatoes, peppers, onions, parsley, chopped cheese, etc. But it turned out that the offer was the so-called "Thracian salad". It was needed some other variation. The chefs suggested: "First, we will make the peppers baked! Secondly, the cheese will be grated, not chopped." Anything else? - asked the leadership. Everyone was silent. And I saw a hot pepper on the table, and as I was sitting, I picked it up and put it in the grated cheese, in the middle of the project of the new salad, and said: "Here, let the Shopi in Sofia, rejoice!" And the cooks clapped their hands and said, "Come on, let's it be called a Shopska salad!" So I became its godfather. СУ „Св. Климент Охридски”, „Антропология на Храненето”, Бистра Стоименова, „Шопска ли е шопската салата–или за флуидността на балканската кухня“, София, 2017.
  15. ^ Raymond Detrez, Historical Dictionary of Bulgaria, 3rd ed, 2015, ISBN 978-1-4422-4179-4, p. 451 Archived 2023-01-23 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ That Salad was created by professional chefs from "Balkanturist" in 1956 at the restaurant "Chernomorets" in the then resort "Druzhba", now "Saint Konstantin and Elena" near Varna, Bulgaria. For the first time, the salad recipe appeared in 1956 in a "Book of the hostess" of P. Cholcheva and Al.Ruseva and it contained all the components of today Shopska except the cheese. In the following years, there were undergoing series of modifications to the recipe - in 1970 in the book "Recipe for cooking and confectionery" were given four options for Shopska salad - with onion and cheese; without onion and cheese; with roasted peppers and cheese; not sweet, but with chili pepper and cheese. In the early 1970s, roasted peppers and grated cheese were imposed as a mandatory component. Initially, the salad was served only in restaurants of "Balkanturist" and later it became popular in the home kitchens in the country. It became a national culinary symbol in Bulgaria during the 1970s and 1980s. For more see: Albena Shkodrova, Socialist gourmet, Janet 45, Sofia, 2014, ISBN 9786191860906, pp. 260-261.
  17. ^ Maria Angelova, "Shopska: The Bulgarian Salad Invented in the Communist Era"; Culture Trip Archived 2020-08-12 at the Wayback Machine.
  18. ^ Klaus Roth, Ulf Brunnbauer as ed., Region, Regional Identity and Regionalism in Southeastern Europe, Part 2; Lit, 2009; ISBN 3643101074, p . 26.
  19. ^ Шкодрова, Албена: Соц гурме. Куриозната история на кухнята в НРБ, София, изд. Жанет 45, 2014 г., с.260.
  20. ^ "Europost, Weekly for politics, business and culture, 23 May 2014, Shopska salad wins European vote". Archived from the original on 27 January 2018. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
  21. ^ Johnson, Author Dale (2019-11-08). "Macedonian Food - 15 Traditional Dishes as Recommended by a Local - Nomad Paradise". Archived from the original on 2022-05-24. Retrieved 2022-06-01. ((cite web)): |first= has generic name (help)
  22. ^ Eлица Кандева, Трикольорът на българския вкус. 14.08.2009, 24 часа. Archived 2021-05-16 at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ Карла Енгелхард, Как "Балкантурист" измисли шопската салата. Deutsche Welle, 01.12.2015. Archived 2021-05-16 at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ Таня Харизанова, Шопската салата – балкански спорове и вкусове. Bulgarian National Radio, 07.10.09. Archived 2021-05-16 at the Wayback Machine