You probably don't want to know exactly what this typically Bulgarian soup is made of. We suggest you first try it and see that it is actually pleasant to the taste. The literal English translation is tripe soup - tripe is the thick lining of the stomach of cattle... Seasoned with garlic, vinegar, and hot red pepper, it will surprise you with its unique aroma and taste - good surprise that is. It is scientifically proven that Shkembe chorba helps alleviate a hangover when consumed after waking up with one. Eat it with as much rakia or beer as you want.
Tarator is a cold soup made of yoghurt, cucumbers, and garlic. It is best enjoyed in the summertime when the blazing sun scorches your head. You can eat it any other time too but you will appreciate its icy chill more when the temperatures around you increase. We have discovered that you can have a rakia or beer with it with no negative side effects but stay away from combining it with wine.
Our Bulgarian Tarator was featured in The New York Times.
Another Bulgarian classic meal - meshana skara (or mixed grill in English) consists of one kebapche, one kyufte, one pork steak and one skewer of pork meat. All this comes with French fries, bean salad with chopped onions and lyutenitsa. Eat with at least three beers and follow up with a rakia.
Bulgarian yogurt is undoubtedly one of the best types of yogurts available. Bulgarian yogurt has two type of bacteria - lactobacillus bulgaricus and streptococcus thermophilus - both excellent probiotic bacteria. The first stran, lactobacillus bulgaricus, was isolated in Bulgaria many years ago by a well-known Russian scientist called Ilya Metchnikoff - one of the founders of modern immunology. He was curious to find the reason for the longevity of Bulgarian people living in the mountains and he believed that it was linked to their consumption of yogurt. So he managed to discover this specific lactic bacteria strain which was indigenous to Bulgaria, hence the name. If you are looking for pure yogurt in its best form - the Bulgarian yogurt is undoubtedly it. Eat it straight, with fruits, add it on meals or make ayran or tarator.
Shopska salad (Shopska salata) is the salad that defines Bulgaria. Not only is it the most popular Bulgarian salad but is also named after a big group of very frugal people called shopi who live in the capital of Bulgaria, Sofia. Shopska salad is made from chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and peppers sprinkled with Bulgarian white cheese. Eat it with a chilled double rakia on the rocks.
Bulgarian: Шопска салата
A meatball made of minced meat and spices and shaped like a sausage. Same as the kyufte, but does not contain onions. It has to be grilled otherwise you will get something different which probably will not be called kebapche (for comparison kyufte can also be fried). Eat it with Shopska salad and French fries with Bulgarian cheese.
Very much like the kebapche, kyufte is a meatball made of minced meat and spices shaped like a meatball slapped with a spatula. Same as kebapche but contains chopped onions too. You can grill, fry or bake it. As with kebapche, eat it with Shopska salad and French fries with Bulgarian cheese.
One of the several Bulgarian foods confused in the West for being Greek.
Moussaka is made with potatoes, ground meat, and tomatoes then it is topped with a white sauce and baked. Throw in some bay leaves too and you will not want to leave the table until you have finished up the entire baking pan. Eat this with some yoghurt on top.
This is one of the most popular meals in Bulgaria which is not so famous outside the country. The ingredients and preparations depend on the region. Almost every part of Bulgaria has it’s own Kavarma recipe. In general, the meal consists of marinated cooked meat and vegetables. It could be mild or spicy depending on the region and the likings. Goes perfectly well with beer or rakia.
Another Bulgarian dish confused with its Greek cousin. Zelevi Sarmi, or Dolmas, are made of grape stuffed with combination of rice and minced meat and then boiled. They can be served both hot or cold to you liking. Definitely try it with some yoghurt on top. Eat with mineral water.
Another Bulgarian dish confused with its Greek cousin. Zelevi sarmi are made of cabbage leaves stuffed with combination of rice and minced meat and then boiled. They can be served both hot or cold to you liking. Go great with wine.
Very very delicious meal - try it if you can. If you like Dolmas you are guaranteed to love this meal too. It's pretty much what it says - green or red peppers stuffed with ground beef or pork and rice and boiled. Sometimes the peppers are topped with a seasoned tomato sauce or whisked eggs. Another variation of stuffed peppers is fried peppers stuffed with cheese and whisked eggs. Eat with lots of beer.
This traditional Bulgarian pastry is first prepared by stacking up layers of filo pastry dough, mixture of whisked eggs, and pieces of Bulgarian cheese and then baked until it gets a golden crust. Eat this with a glass of ayran or boza.
Lukanka is the Bulgarian cousin of the Italian sopresatta. In essence it is a spicy sausage made of minced meat curried with a lot of flavorful spices and half-dried in a cold, windy place for at least two months. In fact it is a must have on every table where rakia is served. Eat it with wine, beer, rakia, whiskey or any other drink you enjoy.
Lyutenitsa is a sauce-like spread that is made from tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants pureed together. It looks a lot like babbaganush and has similar ingredients but it tastes a little more peppery. Lyut in Bulgarian means hot as in spicy, hence lyutenitsa. Although in truth, lyutenitsa is not really spicy. Enjoy this on bread or as a side dish.
Bulgarian white cheese - a variety of the feta cheese but can be produced only in Bulgaria. This is due to a specific lactose tolerant bacteria which converts the milk into yoghurt and then sirene. The bacteria is found only in this part of the world, hence it name - Bacillus Bulgaricus. Bulgarian white cheese is a brined goat, sheep, or cow cheese and can be enjoyed as a side dish or as a part of many other Bulgarian meals. Eat it with some red pepper on top and with a glass of fine wine.
Kashkaval is the typical yellow cheese of Bulgaria. Very similar to the cheddar types of cheese, kashkaval is made of goat, sheep or cow's milk. It is then aged for a certain period of time (about 6 months) to develop its very particular and defining flavor. Eat it as a side dish, appetizer, grind it over food, or have some with your Bulgarian wine.