Bulgaria has quickly become one of the most preferred tourist destinations, where you can find beautiful scenery, ancient history and a friendly atmosphere combined with delicious food. The Bulgarian cuisine is a variegated blend of flavors and tastes, influenced by the Balkan cultures. It is difficult to determine the origin of each dish, but over the years many dishes have been differentiated as traditionally Bulgarian. Check out the traditional Bulgarian dishes you should definitely try to taste in case you’d like to get familiar with the Bulgarian tastes and customs.
1. Shopska salad
We cannot but mention the typical Bulgarian salad, which is positioned first in every menu. The ingredients are cucumbers, tomatoes, onion and grated Bulgarian cheese, which is in fact the main ingredient. You can’t find this taste of cheese anywhere else. The uniqueness and the charm of this salad is explained by the complementary contrasting tastes of onion and cheese. This is a very sure-fire salad, easily perceived as something typical and intimate Bulgarian. The Shopska salad easily turns into a national culinary myth. If you are in Bulgaria, do not fail to try the irresistible taste of Bulgarian cheese.
Banitsa is one of the favorite foods of Bulgarians. Its preparation is easy - with rolled out dough or pastry sheets, combined with various fillings. But the typical Bulgarian banitsa is made with cheese and cottage cheese. Other variants of banitsa you may encounter are banitsa with vegetables, banitsa with fruits, sweet or salty banitsa – it depends on your preferences. Banitsa is an important part of the Christmas and New Year’s eve’s holiday tradition. Its presence on the table is obligatory. It is a preferred meal for breakfast and combines very well with a glass of ayrian or boza.
What does the Gyuveche look like? It’s like a pork or beef stew combined with onion, peppers and potatoes. All this inredients are cooked in a special clay pot. If you want, you can add grated cheese or yellow cheese, and seal it with an egg. Lots of red pepper is put in the typical Bulgarian gyuveche.
There is no Bulgarian who has not tried moussaka or who does not know what moussaka is. We consider it a traditional Bulgarian dish, although it was borrowed from the Arabs where the word “musaqqaa” means “chilled”. The moussaka is well known to all Balkan peoples: Bulgarians, Greeks, Turks and others. We all accept it as a part of our own culture and cuisine. But even though this dish is known as moussaka everywhere, its preparation differs. In Bulgaria, the moussaka is prepared from minced meat, potatoes, onion and spices. Then you have to stew and bake it. Finally , pour it with a mixture of yoghurt, egg and flour. This is the original Bulgarian recipe for moussaka.
Patatnik is a traditional dish characteristic of the Rhodope mountains. It is prepared with grated potatoes, onion, salt and spearmint. Mix everything and bake over low fire. You can add meat, cheese and egg. When traveling in the Rhodopes, you should definitely try the papatnik. People claim there are as many recipes for the patatnik, as villages in the Rhodopes. That’s why in some places you can be served a kind of banitsa or a kind of pancake or schnitzel. It‘s important that the recipe is authentic and the dish is made with Rhodope potatoes.
We, the team of Enjoy-Plovdiv offer a pedestrian tour through the most beautiful places of the Rhodopes and Rila Mountains. From Plovdiv, 2019 European Capital of Culture, to centuries-old monasteries and historical settlements, to natural landmarks, including the Seven Rila Lakes and the Wonderful bridges. This tour gives you the opportunity to see some of the wonderful places in Bulgaria.
The lutenitsa is made from tomatoes, roasted peppers, carrots and onion. Of course, a variety of spices should be added. There is no Bulgarian who does not like lutenitsa spread on a slice of bread and some cheese sprinkled on the top. The perfect Bulgarian fast food. Lutenitsa is also one of the synthesized images of Bulgarian cuisine - slightly spicy and very aromatic.
7. Shkembe (tripe) soup
The Shkembe soup is emblematic for our cuisine. You might not be impressed as you find out what’s in it, but it’s actually very tasty. It’s a matter of taste. This soup is used as a hangover cure. It may even improve your immunity if you add more chilli or pepper. The shkembe soup is the most common dish in Balkan, Bulgarian, Greek, Turkish and other cuisines. It’s prepared with a well-cooked and chopped veal or lamb tripe. You add also spices - garlic, vinegar, red pepper and chili peppers. But we suggest you should try it before you assume it‘s not good because of the ingredients.
When you are in Bulgaria, do not fail to try one of our traditional Bulgarian dishes. Whatever restaurant you decide to visit, we guarantee that it will be very tasty and aromatic.