10 Foods You Must Try When Traveling to Bulgaria

Shopska salad as served in Bulgaria
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10 Foods You Must Try When Traveling to Bulgaria

Bulgaria kitchen is OMG delicious. Amazing recipes from all parts of the country are kept for years. From cold and hot soups, salads, tasty cheese, and lutenitsa visiting Bulgaria the local cuisines are something that you won’t forget. Here are the list of food that you should try if you are traveling to Bulgaria:

NOTE: DON’T READ THIS WHILE HUNGRY

Banitsa

Banitsa borzo
Banitsa By borzo – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Banitsata is one of my favorite traditional dishes. It is prepared by layering a mixture of whisked eggs and pieces of cheese between filo pastry and then baking it in an oven. Other filling varieties can be found like spinach, cabbage, pumpkin, and apples. Banitsa can be found in bakeries all over the country,  but the best banitsa is homemade banitsa. For essential Bulgarian experience combine the banitsa with yogurt, ayran, or boza. Banitsata is part of a lot of traditional events, and take a special place at Christmas and New Year’s Eve. On this occasions, lucky charms are put into the banitsa. They can be coins, small symbolic objects, or happy wishes on a piece of paper.

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Skara ( Grill )

Skara - 10 Foods You Must Try When Traveling to Bulgaria
Skara –
10 Foods You Must Try When Traveling to Bulgaria

Meat is an essential part of the Bulgarian table. Bulgarians love to eat meat. Kebapcheta, meatballs, karnacheta, sausages, skewers are some of the most popular choices. Eat them with a side of French fries with cheese, lutenitsa, beer, or rakia for ultimate Bulgarian experience.

Shkembe chorba

Shkembe chorba
Shkembe chorba By Kiril Kapustin – http://imagesfrombulgaria.com/v/bulgarian-food/shkembe-chorba.jpg.html, CC BY 2.5

Favorite soup to generations of Bulgarians. This is the most famous and loved soups by a lot of people. Although I don’t like this soups, I would recommend to try it, you will decide if you like it or not. Shkembe chorbata is made from well cooked and chopped beef or pork tripe, spiced with garlic, vinegar, pepper or chilies. The best friend of the shkembe chorbata is the beer. You will see people having this for breakfast after a heavy night. It is believed that this combination is the best cure for a hangover.

Tarator

Tarator
Tarator By Ikonact – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Makes summer days easier and refreshing. Tarator is a summer soup made with delicious Bulgarian yogurt, cucumbers, dill, garlic, and topped with walnuts. Absolutely favorite cold, summer soups to anyone. Tarator is absolute must try.

Moussaka

Moussaka
Moussaka

One of the most traditional and popular dishes. Moussaka often present at the table. Although there are different types of Moussaka at the Balkans, Bulgarian Moussaka is like no other. Is made from potatoes and minced pork meat covered with topping from eggs and yogurt. Popular joke through the Bulgarian mans is that they cannot marry women who can’t cook Moussaka.

Ljutenica

Ljutenica
Ljutenica

So much amazing memories from the childhood. A slice of bread topped with Ljutenica and cheese on top, and you eat this on foot because you want to keep on playing outside. Yeah, that is how my childhood was looking overall. Ljutenica is prepared by ground, usually roasted red peppers, tomatoes, onions, carrots, and spices. The main ingredient is the peppers, which gives it the color. Lutenitsata contains also oil, and among the most important spices are cumin, garlic, and chili, to which it owes its spicy taste and name. It can be found in every grocery shop in small jars. The best Ljutenica, though, is the homemade one.

Shopska salad

Shopska salad as served in Bulgaria
Shopska salad as served in Bulgaria By Biso – Own work, CC BY 3.0

I love shopska salad, to drink ice mastika, summer wave to caress me, and blonde girls around me… this is part of the lyrics to very famous Bulgarian song. Shopskata salad is loved by everybody. It’s simple, fresh, and perfect for the summer. The salad is a combo of diced cucumbers, tomatoes, onions and pepper, with grated cheese on top. It’s the perfect start of a Bulgarian meal and rakia’s best friend. The colors of the salad white (cheese), green (cucumber), and red (tomato) which perfectly match the colors of the national flag.

Patatnik

Patatnik
Patatnik By K kapustin – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0
Try Patatnik if you are traveling to Bulgaria
Try Patatnik if you are traveling to Bulgaria

Patatnika is traditional Bulgarian dish from the Rhodope region. It’s made from grated wholesale potatoes, eggs, onion, and mint. It can be also added meat to it, but I think it’s better the way it is. Eat it topped with grated cheese and ayryan for ultimate joy.

Turshiya

Turshiya
Turshiya By © Raimond Spekking / CC BY-SA 4.0 (via Wikimedia Commons), CC BY-SA 4.0

Another traditional Bulgarian dish loved by young and old. The preparation starts in the last summer months, and the consummation is concentrated in the winter months. Turshiyata is made of vegetables, such as green tomatoes, cauliflower, carrots, peppers, celery. There are a lot of different variations, but the most commons are selska turshiya (country) and tsarska turshiya (king’s).

Dairy

Yogurt – Bulgarian yogurt is like no other. Is undoubtedly on of the best types of yogurt in the world. It has two types of bacteria – lactobacillus bulgaricus and streptococcus thermophiles, both amazing probiotic bacteria. You can eat it straight, with fruits, with banitsa, with musaka, or make ayryan or tarator with it.

Vacuum packed Kashkaval cheese in Bulgarian store
Vacuum packed Kashkaval cheese in Bulgarian store By ???? – Own work, GFDL

Cheese (Sirene) – Variety of the feta cheese but can be produced only in Bulgaria, due to a specific lactose bacteria which converts the milk into yogurt and then cheese. The milk for the cheese can be from a goat, sheep, or cow, and can be enjoyed as a side dish or as a part of many other Bulgarian meals.

Kashkaval – Kashkaval is typical yellow Bulgarian cheese. It can be made of goat, sheep or cow milk. You can enjoy it as a side dish, grind it over food, or like an appetizer.

Bilyana Petrova
Bilyana Petrova

I don’t know about you, but I already started to get hungry. If you are traveling to Bulgaria soon, Make sure to try out these local delicasies.

Food definitely has to be one of the reasons to visit Bulgaria along with all of the beautiful places to see.

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