About Bulgaria - Cuisine

There are many things in Bulgaria that may surprise You. Certainly one of them is the traditional Bulgarian cuisine.
Collected the culinary of old cook masters and part of the culinary traditions of the Balkan nations, today it impresses with its great variety and its unusual exotic character. You can try the tasty yoghurt and the unusual milk products – white brined cheese, Balkan kashkaval and cottage cheese only in Bulgaria. The popular mixed vegetable salad, tsar`s pickles, sauerkraut and Bulgarian lyutenitsa are offered only here. Nowhere else you can have a bite a salad of Smilyan beans with herbs, cold yoghurt and chopped cucumber soup, stuffed vine leaves, stuffed peppers with beans, kavarma, kapama, patatnik, hominy, marudnitsi (kind of blintz), banitsas filled with rice, leek, spinach, beetroot, pumpkin, Easter cakes. The traditional local delicacies, such as lukanka, sudzhuk, babek (flat sausages), dried meat, etc., are also among the great culinary surprises. All these and our sparkling red wine that has kept the breath of our virgin nature and the spirit of our forefathers are a nice appetizer for the aromatic rakia (Bulgarian brandy). Adding the ecologically clean vegetables and fruit, which cannot be compared by their taste and fragrance, the delicious and healing natural mineral waters, it then would be a great temptation to be a tourist in Bulgaria.



The Bulgarian yoghurt
 

The Bulgarian yoghurt is an ingenious and unique national product. Its common Bulgarian name is “kiselo mliako”. It is produced by full-cream milk – cow, sheep, buffalo and mixed, undergone to milk-sour fermentation at 40 - 45 degrees.
The Lactobacillus delbrueckii subspecies bulgaricus plays an important role in the yoghurt production. It has been found and used for the first time in Bulgaria, as its name shows. It can be freely found only in the nature of our country and together with the Streptococcus thermophilus – it is the only Streptococcus bacterium which is harmless for human beings and they both produce natural milksour fermentation which leads to the product we call „yoghurt”. Yoghurt, thanks to the Lactobacillus bulgaricus, is a natural probiotik, very beneficial to the human organism. That`s why yoghurt is known all over the world and it has many admirers.

The Bulgarian yoghurt




The Bulgarian mixed vegetable salad
 

The famous Mixed vegetable salad is one of the great discoveries of the shopps  – an ethnographic group in Bulgaria. When being to be consumed, it is completely white, like their clothes. And it is delicious and hot by taste like the characters of the shopps.
This Bulgarian culinary temptation is very old, though it is not entered into encyclopedias. It is lovely, tasty, juicy, savoury, aromatic, just like the Bulgarian nature. Maybe the mixed vegetable salad has inspired the Bulgarian people to invent the great Bulgarian rakia made of grapes, plums, damsons, apples, apricots, peaches, etc. which goes so well with the mixed salad.
Today, however, this national culinary masterpiece is not only a fine dressing to the aperitif, but it is also a lovely dish for every admirer of the tasty food. It may be ordered as a separate dish before or together with the main course, after meals or for breakfast. It is appropriate for receiving as well as seeing guests. This salad is often consumed as an appetizer with rakia.(grape brandy)
The Smilyan beans
The Smilyan beans is one of the small numbers of Bulgarian food which has a patent for a mark. Bulgarian people say that it is a symbol of progress. It initiated the relationships between Bulgaria and America after Christopher Columbus shipped that agricultural crop across the ocean.
Whatever the truth is, however, one is clear – the Smilyan beans is a patent of the village Smilyan, near Smolyan where its name comes from. In contrast to its “colleagues”, it is larger and it is only in three colours – white, black and natural brown. People cultivate it by the river and twist it around threads 2-3 metres long It flowers late and people pick it in September. But on the other hand, people make one of the most delicious Rhodope meals of it – salads and broths with herbs, stuffed peppers and other products, minced meats and delicatecies which cannot be even compared to taste with the most excellent local specialties. Famous as an ecologically clean product, today the Smilyan beans is famous even beyond Bulgaria. And the meals made of it successfully compete ratified products and food at the exhibitions “Sloy Food” in Italy and the food festival in France.

The Bulgarian mixed vegetable salad


Traditional local delicacies
 

Bulgarian people liked eating delicious food and there was everything on the table born from our generous soil long ago. But when we talk about their gastronomy skills, we cannot miss the famous local delicacies. Their making is connected with the old traditions of Thracians and people living in the Rhodopes, Shopps and Macedonians, people of the Sredna Gora Mountains and the Dobrudzha Region. Different of type and taste, they are authentic because of the nice meat and the  unusual Bulgarian spice they are made of. That`s why, wherever you go, you can try these true masterpieces of the Bulgarian gastronomy taste.
We can offer delicious sudzhutsi and lukanki – from Karlovo, Pirdop and Smyadovo which are different with their soft, not bitter taste of pepper, cummin and sweet red pepper to those who prefer more standard appetizers. Sausages look not less curious – Makedonski, Srednogorski, Karlovska, Godechka, Tetevemska, Sandanska, made of finely chopped meat spiced with herbs which add to them a specific fragrance and zest.
It is good for the lovers of more exotic cuisine to taste the traditional Bulgarian old man according to Kotlen and Strandzha recipes, an old man from Bansko or Plovdiv, babek from Dryanovo or Karlovo made of chopped pork with or without small hot peppers spiced with pepper and white peppers – other national spice that makes them very delicious appetizers for the Bulgarian rakia and anisette.
Those having more exquisite taste and those being fans of fine appetizers will give a real pleasure to themselves when having a bite of the fine and lean deer and goat`s meat salted and dried made according to old recipes by the heirs of the Bulgarian people from Sredna Gora Mountain.
If you are a lover of red wine, do not miss to taste bahur from the Strandzha Mountain and black sausage /karvavitsa/ from the Sredna Gora Mountain made of the liver of a just butchered pig, groats or rice and some pepper, or Thracian sazdarma made of fresh coarsely minced pork with laurel leaves and grains of white pepper which are an excellent appetizer for  seasoned red wine from Melnik.

Traditional local delicacies



Wine and Regions

...the Elixir of the ancient Thracians
The wine has been present on the Bulgarian lands for hundred of years now. Archaeology and folklore, foreign and Bulgarian chroniclers have left us a number of evidences on the ancient wine tradition in Bulgaria. It was 3 000 years ago when grape growing and wine making were a part of the way of life and rituals of the ancient Thracians. Omir, in his work “Iliada”, gives a description on the way the Achaeans used to bring with their ships huge barrels with sweet, thick liquid from Thracia, as they used to drink from this liquid before each battle for Throy. In the 5th century B.C. the Greek historian Ksenofont wrote the story about the Thracian king Ceft who in the honour of God Dionis used to drink from this Elixir together with those Thracians having the inside knowledge required. There are many other legends and myths that may be told for the Bulgarian wine. And as fantastic as they sometimes sound or as exaggerated as they may be, this Divine Elixir had its charm deserving to be revealed to those who are not aware of it.
Fortunately, today Bulgaria is the most successful wine producer among all East-European countries. The commercial success of the Bulgarian wines dates back from 1970 when the world-wide famous Wine Department at the University of California at Davis managed to popularize what was known as a “global” product.
Today, wine tasters from all over the world could distinguish the popular French and German grape varieties - Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shardone, accompanied by the typical Bulgarian grape varieties of black Gamza, Mavrud, Melnik, white Misket and Dimyat, Rkatsiteli.
And the lovers of this drink may enjoy the unusual aroma, underlined but yet soft freshness, fine and harmonious taste of the wines produced in Bulgaria.
There are vine plantations in all regions of Bulgaria that may be grouped into five "vine-growing" regions, namely:

Northern region
known for the production of red and white wines – the wine-cellars in Suhindol, Rousse and Svishtov.

Eastern region
influenced by the Black Sea climate, production of white wines is the main one here - Khan Krum and Varna.

Southern region
 that is traditionally known for the production of red wines, among which the unique wine called Asenovgradski Mavrud /Mavrud from Asenovgrad/.

South-western
region characteristic with its soft Mediterranean climate and famous with the hard red Melnik wines.

Sub-Balkan region
which due to its mountainous region is suitable for the production of red wines, among which are famous the trademarks of the Sliven wine-cellar, namely: Cabernet, Merlot and Shardone.

 
Discover Bulgaria
This tour presents the highlights of the Bulgarian culture and historical heritage: the famous golden treasures of the Thracians, the unique frescos and icons of Bulgarian monasteries, picturesque Rivaval towns and wonderful landscapes.
Monastery Tour
Seculed ath the foot of the mountain or perched on the hills, but always amidst vivid scenery have been a genuine treasury of Bulgarian spirit.Fantastic mural paintings and frescoes made by the hand of familiar or unknown icon painters cover the interior of the churches.
Three Mountains
Bulgarian landscape is fascinatingly diverse-low and high mountains,valleys and meadows, beaches and bays.Enjoy the the charming of the Bulgarian towns, still preserving the atmosphere of National Revival period –a unique combination of a legendary history and and fascinating present
Daily tour Koprivshtitsa
One of the most charming small Bulgarian towns-a museum of Bulgarian Renaissance architecture.Every street and house tells about the heroic past of this ancient town.A unique collection of ethnographic treasures,Revival works of art and embroidery has also been preserved.
Daily tour Rila Monastery
The holy ground for all Bulgarians.It is a symbol of their national identity and dignity.Visitors are impressed by the the pure harmonious line of the buildings, the exquisite colonnades and arches.
Daily tour Sofia
Sofia is one of the oldest cities in Europe, with thousand of years of history and monuments from different civilizations.Sofia celebrates on September 17 , as this is the day of its patron-saints Viara(Faith), Nadezhda(Hope), Lyubov(Love) and their mother Sofia which in Greek means “wisdom”
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