Top 10 Bulgarian dishes you should definitely try while visiting Bulgaria

Bulgarian cuisine is fresh, delicious, hearty and mild in taste. It is most renowned for the great variety of the used dairy products (mostly in the form of white/ yellow cheese and yoghurt) and for its great quality of vegetables and fruits, farmer-grown under the warm sunshine. The most popular meat dishes are the pork and chicken ones but be sure not to miss also the vegetarian options – where you would enjoy the great taste of the local vegetables.

1. Banitsa (Cheese Pastry)

this delicious salty pastry is one of the best breakfast options that you - as well as all the locals - can get! It can be purchased in bakeries all over the country for the modest price of ~ BGN 2 a piece.
It is made of thin pastry sheets and is traditionally filled in with eggs and white cheese ("sirene") – there are also varieties with other stuffing like spinach, cabbage, onions, pumpkin, etc.
This hearty breakfast will give you the energy to go and explore the city for the next couple of hours. :)

Tip: For a true Bulgarian experience combine your morning banitsa with either Airyan (a yoghurt drink) or with the traditional thick fermented wheat drink – Boza.

2. Mekitsa 

another popular breakfast in Bulgaria. It is made from flour, eggs, and yoghurt and it is deep fried. When served, mekitsa is usually powdered with powder sugar, or topped with jam/honey and even white cheese. This delicious fried dough pastry can be found in many bakeries in the country (although not as widely and commonly found as banitsa). But surely, it is another breakfast idea which quickly becomes favorite to all visitors of Bulgaria.

3. Shopska Salad 

the Bulgarian king of salads. Although very simple, this salad is Bulgaria’s favorite, because made of good quality fresh products which give its unique taste: diced tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and peppers, with grated white cheese and parsley on top.

Due to its ingredients, the most prominent colors in Shopska Salad are white, green and red – the colors of the Bulgarian flag. There are many reasons why this simple, yet brilliant salad is favorite of all locals who consume it not only as appetizer together with a glass of Rakia (grappa/schnapps/brandy), but also as a side along with the main dish.

4. Kebapche (Meat roll) / Kyufte (Meatball)

one of the most popular types of local grill. Kebapche is an elongated piece of grilled, minced meat, seasoned with black pepper and cumin. The Bulgarian Kebapche is mild in taste and is usually prepared either form pork or from a combination of pork and beef meat.

A very popular main dish is the so called mix grill ("meshana skara") - it usually consists of grilled kebapche, kyufte (a meatball) and a sausage, usually accompanied by cabbage salad, lyutenitsa and french fries.

5. Tripe Soup ("Shkembe Chorba")

this generously spiced local soup is one of the most typical soup dishes in Bulgaria. Upon serving, usually you are supposed to add vinegar, garlic and crude red pepper for a full taste. Shkembe Chorba is prepared from whole pork, beef or lamb tripe, which is boiled for few hours, chopped in small pieces, and returned to the broth.

Tip: The Bulgarian tripe soup is world known as a hangover remedy – thus it is offered by many small restaurants even during the early hours of the morning, especially for those returning from a night of binge drinking. Why don't you try it yourself? 

6. Tarator (Bulgarian cold soup)

Refreshing cold yogurt soup - Unlike Shkembe chorba’s hot spiciness, tarator is refreshing, light and served cold. It is made from yoghurt, chopped cucumbers, garlic, dill and walnuts. This is the perfect soup for the hot summer days in Bulgaria. Our national response to Spanish Salmorejo. 

7. Sirene po Shopski (white cheese in hot pot) 

A favourite dish for all cheese lovers. It is made of big chunks of white cheese, layered with tomatoes, herbs (mainly chubritsa) with one poached egg and a hot pepper on top. The dish is prepared in a traditional ceramic pot, and is baked slowly until all ingredients mix perfectly their unique aromas.

8. Kapama

A favourite, hearty dish usually consumed in the winter. The uniqueness of kapama is that it is prepared with several types of meat (usually pork and chicken meat and different kinds of sausages), layered with the locally produced sauerkraut (nothing like the taste of the German one) and flavored with black paper, red pepper, bay leaf, etc. The uniqueness of this dish is that it is slowly baked in a clay pot for at least 5-6 hours. Although the meal is slightly heavy and cannot be consumed all year round, it is perfect for the cold, snowy winters, combined with a glass of red wine. 

9. Stuffed Peppers 

A popular dish, consisted of red peppers filled in with minced meat and rice. The dish is prepared in a casserole and baked in the oven, after which it is topped with a special kind of white sauce (containing flour and yoghurt).

10. Tikvenik 

Bulgarian Pumpkin Pastry. One of the many usages of the locally grown sweet pumpkin is to make delicious desserts. This favorite local desert is filled in with sweet pumpkin puree, sugar, walnuts and cinnamon.

Another popular desserts include: baklava (sweet pastry with walnut filling and sugary syrup), crème caramel and tick yoghurt topped with locally produced blueberry jam or honey.

Sounds tasty, eh?


Popular posts from this blog

Places to visit around Sofia

Discover Parga Region

Top beaches and things to do in Lefkada