Traditional Bulgarian food is a mixture of Slavonic, Greek and Turkish cuisines. The basic ingredients used in the Bulgarian foods are beans, milk, yogurt, cheese, tomatoes, potatoes, apples, water-melons, grapes, etc. Bulgarians eat also pork, beef, lamb, chicken and fish.
National specialities include: Shopska salad (sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and parsley topped with grated sheep's cheese); and tarator (a cold soup of chopped cucumber, walnuts and yogurt). White sheep's cheese baked with eggs is another favorite. Other typical items on the menu include kavarma (individual casseroles of pork or veal, onions and mushrooms), shishkebab, stuffed vine or cabbage leaves and moussaka. Yogurt too, tastes better in Bulgaria, its country of origin. Other Bulgarian specialty is banitsa (pasty).
Here are the recipes of some of the above mentioned dishes:
Banitsa is usually prepared for Christmas Eve, New Year and other special occasions and very often it gathers the whole family around the table. Banitsa is very popular for breakfast and you will see literally hundreds of pastry shops in Bulgaria selling this delicious pastry. Bulgaria is a land of traditions and there are two very special food item varieties which are unique to Bulgaria and are considered the gastronomical pride of the nation since times immemorial- the yoghurt and the white cheese
The white cheese is the main national food of the Bulgarians. This is a concentrated milk product with a Variety of taste and flavour depending on the production technology used. It is home made since ancient times. It is both used on the table and as an essential part of other meatless foods from the Bulgarian National cuisine. It could be served alone or in combination with other products.
Bulgarian yoghurt is very tasty and wholesome. The yogurt is produced from warm milk that has endured lactic acid fermentation at 40-45 degrees C. Depending on the milk it is produced from sheep milk, cow milk and buffalo milk. The buffalo yoghurt is the richest yoghurt having 7.5% fat content, the next in the row is the sheep yoghurt with 6.5% fat and the cow yoghurt with 3.5% fat. Bulgarian yoghurt is suitable for breakfast, but can also be eaten for dinner.
Bulgarian wines are the perfect companion for Bulgarian food. The choice is wide. However, you can tell the best wine by their controlled Label of origin guaranteeing that they have been made from special varieties of grapes grown in specific localities. In 1970s Bulgarian wines like Chardonnay, Cabernet and Merlot appeared in the European markets and are still very popular in Great Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany, Scandinavian countries. Original local red grapes Mavrud and Melnik are grown in Bulgaria and are very interesting to the wine connoisseurs.
Beer is also a very popular drink in Bulgaria. The most famous brands are ZAGORKA, SHUMENSKO PIVO, ARIANA, KAMENITSA. The Bulgarian beer is very easy to drink, not so bitter like the English. However, if you don’t like Bulgarian beer, you can order lots of different world famous beers – CARLSBERG, HEINEKEN, TUBORG, BECK’S, etc.