Bulgaria - Cooking and Food Edit

Overview of Bulgarian Cuisine History Edit

The Bulgarian cuisine has been influenced for a long period of time by the Turkish cuisine, as well as by the cuisine of Greece and of former Yugoslavia. In exchange, the Bulgarians affected the cuisine of these countries and furthermore, the cuisine of Wallachia and Moldova.

The Bulgarian cuisine began to have an identity of its own in the 18th century. Until that moment, people consumed the usual foods that were cooked across Europe: bread, fruits and vegetables, fish and various meats. The 19th century marked even a stronger development of the Bulgarian cooking style. Since then, people have created traditional recipes, while enhancing others, by using local ingredients and a unique style.

Some of the Bulgarian foods are known all over the world. The Bulgarian yogurt is one of them. It is made from cow milk, although sheep milk or buffalo-cow milk is also used. The last two varieties proved to have a better taste. yogurt is consumed daily by the majority of the Bulgarians. The cheese is made in different ways. The primary categories are: feta cheese, which is white and Kashkaval, which is the name given to the yellow cheese. feta cheese also has two varieties: cow feta and sheep feta. The first one is used in recipes, while the second is consumed as it is.

Vegetables are used in the Bulgarian recipes in large quantities and in a great number of combinations. The ones that are used most frequently are: cabbage, green peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, celery, Cauliflower, lettuce, radishes, gumbo, garlic and mushrooms. Fruits are not neglected by the Bulgarians. These are either consumed raw or are the ingredients of desserts. Plums, apricots, peaches, melons and pumpkins are the most often types of fruits consumed by people.

The condiments used in the Bulgarian cuisine vary from paprika and parsley to mint and savory. Also, herbs, such as thyme and milfoil are used to enhance many of the foods.

Bulgaria is not unique only through its foods, but also through its beverages. People have created many traditional drinks and the most important are: rakia, mastica, menta, boza, ayran, and various types of beer and mineral water. In addition, there are some distinctive wines in Bulgaria. The main varieties are: Mavrud, Pamid, Gumza, Melnik wine, Misket, Pelin and Muskat.

Cuisines of Bulgaria Edit

Map of Bulgaria

Map of Bulgaria- Click to enlarge

Bulgaria does not have a great territory. However, this did not stop the appearance of some differences in the cooking style, across the country. The main dissimilarities are between the cuisine of the Northern half of the country and the cooking style that characterizes the Southern regions.

By Geographic Area and Style:

  • Northern Bulgaria Cuisine
  • Southern Bulgaria Cuisine

Bulgarian Food Glossary Edit

Finding the ingredients for an Bulgarian Recipe is not so easy when you do not know the names of the ingredients. Take time to make a list of ingredients and the name they may be found under at the Local Markets.

Preparation Methods for Bulgarian Cooking Edit

Preparing Bulgarian dishes does not require the knowledge of any special cooking methods. Since the very beginnings of the Bulgarian cuisine, people have prepared the foods by either boiling, stewing or roasting the ingredients. These are only three of the techniques used by Bulgarians nowadays. The others are the ones used across Europe and in Northern America.

Special Equipment for Bulgarian Cooking Edit

Most Bulgarian dishes don’t require you to purchase any special tools. However, having a coffee grinder helps with roasting and grinding spices and maximizes their volatile oils, which, in turn, provides your food with more flavor. The tools that can be found in a Bulgarian kitchen are used in many other countries. The equipment resumes to forks, knives, pans, trays, tablespoons, teaspoons, scoops and for dishes that are meant to be prepared in a precise manner: food scales and temperature measurement devices.

However, there is one thing that differentiates the Bulgarian cuisine from the others. It is a tradition to eat the foods in earth ware dishes. This habit is only maintained by the elders. In the modern cuisines, people serve the foods in normal plates.

Bulgarian Food Traditions and Festivals Edit

Bulgarians organize festivals to promote their national customs. Although most of these are not planned for celebrating a food, displaying the traditional dishes is often the secondary goal. St. Trifon Zarezan is a wine festival which is organized each year, on the 14th of February. This is a great opportunity for the vine growers to show their best products. Another important day for the Bulgarians is the Saturday before Saint Paraskeva’s Day, when Chicken Church is celebrated. This was one of the oldest traditions in Bulgaria. The trademark of this holiday is represented by dishes based on poultry.

The traditional meals are related to the main holidays. There are dishes that are prepared only for Christmas and for the New Year’s Eve. During those holidays, a meal may contain up to seven dishes.

People in Bulgarian Food Edit

  • Are you into Bulgarian Cooking and would like to be interviewed?
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.