The cuisine has been influenced by its neighbors — Greece, Turkey, the Middle East, Italy, Germany, Hungary and Russia. Dishes tend to be a bit spicier than Northern European cooking and vary widely from one area of Bulgaria to another. Parsley is the most widely used herb in Bulgaria, fresh or dried, for soups, main courses, vegetable preserves, salads, roasted meat or fish. Tarragon, basil, savory, mint, dill, and summer savory (known as choobritza) are all common. Choobritza is similar to oregano and used in pork, beef, vegetable and egg dishes, and in tomato sauces. The dried leaves are crushed and sprinkled on top of soups in the last few minutes of cooking or ground into a fine powder and eaten on bread. Chili peppers give a specific flavor to Balkan cooking and the favored sour flavors are achieved with lemon juice or vinegar.
Bulgarian cuisine is a representative of the cuisine of Southeastern Europe. It shares characteristics with other Balkans cuisines. Owing to the relatively warm climate and diverse geography affording excellent growth conditions for a variety of vegetables, herbs and fruits, Bulgarian cuisine is diverse. There is a lot of similarity to Greek, Turkish, Russian and middle European cuisines. Famous for its rich salads required at every meal, Bulgarian cuisine is also noted for the diversity and quality of dairy products and the variety of Bulgarian wines and local alcoholic drinks such as rakia,mastika and menta. Bulgarian cuisine features also a variety of hot and cold soups, an example of a cold soup being tarator. There are many different Bulgarian pastries as well such as banitsa. Most Bulgarian dishes are oven baked, steamed, or in the form of stew. Deep-frying is not very typical, but grilling – especially different kinds of meats – is very common. Pork meat is the most common meat in the Bulgarian cuisine. Oriental dishes do exist in Bulgarian cuisine with most common being moussaka, gyuvetch, and baklava. A very popular ingredient in Bulgarian cuisine is the Bulgarian white brine cheese called “sirene” (сирене). It is the main ingredient in many salads, as well as in a variety of pastries. Fish and chicken are widely eaten and while beef is less common as most cattle are bred for milk production rather than meat, veal is a natural byproduct of this process and it is found in many popular recipes. Bulgaria is a net exporter of lamb and its own consumption of the meat is prevalent during its production time in spring. Traditionally Bulgarians have consumed a notable quantity of yogurt per head and is noted historically for the production of high quality yogurt, including using a unique variety of micro-organism called Lactobacillus bulgaricus in the manufacturing process.It has even been claimed that yogurt originates from Bulgaria. Though this cannot be substantiated, Bulgaria has been part of a region that has cultivated and consumed yogurt from as far back as 3000 BC.
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Certain entrees, salads Bulgaria’s cuisine is influenced by the neighboring Balkan countries of Serbia, Macedonia, Greece and northern Turkey. Traditional food includes bread, pickled vegetables, salads, soups, stews, casseroles, stuffed vegetables, kebabs, spicy sausages and cheese dishes. Yogurt is very popular and eaten most days. In fact, Bulgaria is said to be the home of yogurt and Bulgarian yogurt is thought to have curative properties. Pork, lamb, beef, chicken, fish and vegetarian dishes are served with staples such as rice and bulgar wheat. Vegetables include aubergines, beans, cabbage, carrots, corn, courgettes, cucumbers, lettuce, mushrooms, onions, peppers, potatoes, tomatoes and olives. Favorite desserts are pancakes, baklava, baked apples and fresh fruit: apricots, blueberries, blackberries, cherries, grapes, melons, raspberries, strawberries, peaches, pears, plums and quinces. Traditional alcoholic drinks are rakiya (a fruit brandy, often plum), wine and boza (a type of beer made with grain, usually millet). Non-alcoholic drinks include coffee, tea, juices, buttermilk and mineral water .ds, soups and dishes go well with alcoholic beverages and the alcohol of choice for some is Bulgarian wine. Bulgarian wines are with superb quality and had won many gold medals. There is a centuries long tradition in wine making. Visit Bulgaria to check it out-you won’t feel sorry.