Perhaps the most notable thing about Bulgarian food is the required salad with every meal. A very healthy accompaniment, one might think. And one would be correct because, despite a possible stereotype that most Bulgarian food is fat-fried, it’s actually grilled, oven baked or stewed. Below (and in no particular order) is a list of five popular Bulgarian dishes which are sure to whet anyone’s appetite:
As mentioned, Bulgaria is renowned for its salads and light dishes, and that includes soups. Tarator, specifically served cold, is a popular choice especially in summertime because of its light colour, its soothing ingredients, and cooling texture. Consisting of yoghurt mixed with slices of refreshing cucumber and seasoned with dill and walnuts, Tarator is a great way to handle the sweltering European heat.
A hearty hot dish especially for those who can pack away food. Although there are many variations, the Bulgarian one bases the dish with the most popular meat in the country: pork. It’s the foundation of the dish, and on top of that layer are slices of potatoes (instead of the traditional aubergines), and the top layer is a sort of custard, made from yoghurt, eggs, and flour.
Also a British favorite but made best in Bulgaria. Their ever-popular grilled pork cubes are pierced onto a skewer together with a variety of different vegetable slices such as tomatoes, aubergine, mushrooms, onions and bell-peppers. Another summertime/barbecue go-to option for easy meal making.
These pie-like dishes could be thought of as Bulgaria’s fortune cookies. Traditionally, lucky charms were put into the middle of the pie on special occasions such as Christmas Day. Nowadays, people may write messages of encouragement or happiness and place them inside. Banitsa is an amalgamation of whisked eggs and Bulgaria’s sirene cheese, baked in between layers of filo pastry.
Taking a sweeter-toothed option now with Bulgaria’s cherry strudel (however, there are dozens of variations). With a pastry made without yeast, its crust is flaky rather than puffy, making for a lighter texture. Variations include apples, peaches, poppy-seed, raisins and honey, and sweet cheese. These are all other popular Balkan variations.
Have you tried any of these delicious dishes? Which is your favorite?
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