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Bulgarian Food :

One of the most pleasant surprises for people when they visit Bulgaria is good quality and tasty food which can be enjoyed all over the country. Fresh produce is plentiful and tasty and is cooked simply yet imaginatively. Some dishes are unique to Bulgaria while others are to be found all over the Balkans.

One of the most pleasant surprises for people when they visit Bulgaria is good quality and tasty food which can be enjoyed all over the country. Fresh produce is plentiful and tasty and is cooked simply yet imaginatively. Some dishes are unique to Bulgaria while others are to be found all over the Balkans.

Below are some of the traditional dishes that you can try when you come to Bulgaria.

Salads

1. Shopska salad
Ingredients: 3-4 tomatoes, 1 cucumber, 4-5 peppers, 1 onion, 150g brined sheep's cheese, parsley, vinegar, sunflower oil and salt. Bake, peel and seed the peppers. Cut into small strips and add the diced tomatoes, cucumbers and onion. Add salt, oil and vinegar, and mix. Serve in the shape of a pyramid, top with chopped parsley and grated cheese and you cannot be more Balkan than that.
2. Stuffed tomato salad
Ingredients: 1kg tomatoes, 1 medium-sized celery, 250g brined sheep's cheese, parsley, pepper, vinegar, sunflower oil, salt(1 cucumber). Peel and dice the celery, boil in salt water, strain and mix with the grated cheese, oil and finely chopped parsley. Slice off the tomato tops, core and fill with the mixture (for an even more appealing appearance place the tomatoes on top of cucumber slices). Trim with small pieces of tomatoes and parsley.
3. Mixed salad
Ingredients: 1-2 aubergines, 7-8 peppers(non-Bulgarian size peppers: 15), 3-4 tomatoes, 1 cucumber, 1/3 cup walnuts, 203 cloves garlic, vinegar, sunflower oil, salt. Bake the aubergines and peppers on a hot plate, peel and cut into small pieces. Add the diced cucumber, crushed walnut kernels and garlic, the vinegar, oil and salt, stir and arrange on a plate. Top with tomato slices and finely chopped parsley. Sprinkle with some more oil.
4. Snow white salad
Ingredients: 2-3 cucumbers, 2 cup cottage cheese, 1 cup cream, 1/2 cup walnuts, 2-3 cloves garlic, dill, sunflower oil, salt (3 eggs). Peel and dice the cucumbers, add the cottage cheese, cream, crushed walnuts and garlic, the oil, finely chopped dill and salt. Beat the mixture, pour into a plate and garnish with hard boiled eggs cut in half.
5. Aubergine puree
Ingredients: 2-3 aubergines, 4-5 peppers, 2-3 tomatoes, 3-4 cloves garlic, parsley, vinegar, sunflower oil, salt. Bake the aubergines and peppers on a hot plate, peel and cut into small pieces. Add the finely hopped diced or grated tomatoes, then the crushed garlic. Mix with a wooden spoon, add oil and vinegar, salt to taste, beat. Pour into a plate and top with finely chopped parsley.

Soups

1. Tarator
Ingredients: 2-3 cucumbers, 500g yoghurt, 1/2 walnuts, 3-4 cloves garlic, dill, sunflower oil and salt. Beat the yoghurt, add the crushed garlic, ground walnuts, finely dies cucumbers (sliced into small pieces), oil and salt. Stir and dilute with cold water. Serve sprinkled with finely chopped dill.
2. Monastery style bean soup
Ingredients: 200g white beans, 2-3 carrots, 1/2 a celery, 1 onion, 1-2 tomatoes, 1-2 peppers, 1-2 chillies (peppers, by choice), parsley, mint, sunflower oil, salt. Soak the beans in cold water for 3-4 hours, drain and pour fresh water. Boil (in an earthware) pot together with oil, finely chopped carrots, onion and celery. The sliced peppers are added later; the grated tomatoes and mint, when the beans have turned tender. Salt and boil for another 15-20 min. Serve sprinkled with finely chopped parsley.
3. Vegetable soup
Ingredients: 2-3 potatoes, 1-2 carrots, 1/2 celery. 1-2 peppers, 1/4 of a medium-sized cabbage, 1 onion, 2-3 tomatoes, 1 beetroot, 1 spoonful flour, 1 tsp paprika, 100g yoghurt, 1 egg, 100g kashkaval(yellow cheese), sunflower oil, salt, parsley. Put the diced celery and carrots into salt boiling water together with the finely cut cabbage and peppers. When soft, add the diced potatoes. Boil the diced beetroot. Stew the finely chopped onion until soft, then add the flower, paprika and grated tomatoes. Add the mixture to the boiling vegetables and boil for another half hour. Add the beetroot at the end. Thicken with an egg beaten in yoghurt. Serve with finely chopped parsley and grated kashkval.
4. Spinach or Nettle soup
Ingredients: 1/2 spinach, 60g butter, 2 spoon flour, 0.5l milk, pepper, salt. Boil the finely chopped spinach in salt water. Brown the butter and flour, then add the spinach puree. Dilute with milk and half the spinach water. Boil for another 5-10 minutes and season with pepper. Serve with bread cubes fried in butter. The same recipe may may be used for nettles.
5. Vegetable soup with white cheese
Ingredients: 250g green beans, 1 onion, 1/2 a medium-sized cabbage, 1 small cauliflower, 150g white brined cheese, parsley, sunflower oil, salt. Boil the beans in salt water and strain. Cook the finely chopped onion, cabbage, and cauliflower in oil and some water, pour over hot water and the bean water. When cooked, add the bean mash and crushed cheese. Boil for another 10 minutes and serve with finely chopped parsley.