Cuisine In Bulgaria

Food is one of the great pleasures of Bulgarian lifestyle. Find out below what to expect at mealtimes and some of the typical dishes you will come across.


Bulgaria's cuisine is influenced by its neighbouring Balkan countries of Yugoslavia, Greece and northern Turkey. Combinations of these traditions create the Bulgarian food we know today.

Traditional food includes Bulgarian bread, pickled vegetables, salads, soups, stews, casseroles, stuffed vegetables, kebabs, spicy sausages and cheese dishes. Add to this, lots of garlic, onions, oil and spices.

Bulgarians particularly like salads - a salad and rakia (Bulgarian spirit/schnapps, usually made from grapes) are often an obligatory start to the meal. But be warned, this stage of the meal can be a very drawn-out process lasting up to an hour

Yoghurt is very popular and eaten most days. In fact, Bulgaria is said to be the home of yoghurt and Bulgarian yoghurt is thought to have curative properties.

Meat, fish and vegetarian dishes are served with rice or bulgar wheat. Vegetables include aubergines, beans, cabbage, carrots, corn, courgettes, cucumbers, lettuce, mushrooms, onions, peppers, potatoes, tomatoes and olives.

Favourite desserts are pancakes, baklava, baked apples and fruit: apricots, blueberries, blackberries, cherries, grapes, melons, raspberries, strawberries, peaches, pears, plums and quinces.

Typical Dishes

Breakfast:

Banitsa- flaky dough and cheese pastry, sometimes with spinach, leek or onion. Delicious when fesh in the morning, rather than microwaved in a bar.

Kozu'nak- bread-like, with sugar spread on top. Very good with yoghurt.

Bo'za- made from millet and tastes like puffed wheat cereal, in a brown liquid form. Looks like chocolate milk, so it's better to check what it is before buying it. According to veteran expatriates, it is best with a shot of vodka or whisky added to it.

Lunch:

Salads are eaten as this is normally the lighter meal of the day.Sa'lati

Shopska salad- cucumbers, tomatoes, and white cheese.

Russian salad- potato salad with mayonnaise.

Kartofi salad- potato salad with vinegar.

Toasted sandwiches- bread and meat or cheese cooked in a sandwich press with a selection of salads.

Dinner:

Shishche- shish kebab, pork or beef.

Kyufte- ground pork and spices in patty form.

Kebapche- same as kyufte but in sausage form.

Drinks:

Alcohol is very much a part of Bulgarian culture. Many people drink alcohol and it is drunk at any time of the day and for every occasion.

Beer- preferred Bulgarian beers are Zagorka and Pleven. Make sure it is nice and "studena" (cold).

Wine- this is high quality and low in price. Wines from Preslav, Novi Pazar, Suhin Dol, Melnik and Khan Krum (Shoumen Region) are considered to be the best. Sungularski Misket (dry white) is a very popular wine.

Rakia- Bulgarian fruit brandy, often made of plumb or grapes. It is the national drink and rather strong. Rakia is said to cure stomach pains, cancer and hangovers.

As with most activities in Bulgaria, going out to a restaurant is great value for money. Breakfast may set you back € 2.50 (£1.75) and a typical 3 course lunch, a mere €5.00 (£3.50).

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