Bulgaria has a rich and diverse food culture. Although bulgarian cuisine is influenced by eastern European traditions, its flavor remains unique and authentic. This is why bulgarian cuisine has earned an enviable reputation worldwide for being delicious and wholesome.
A wide range of vegetables, herbs and spices are used in Bulgarian cuisine to create a variety of traditional dishes. Parsley, dill, oregano and basil are common, while mint is also used in some dishes. Several types of spiciness are used including summer savory, sweet paprika, cumin and fenugreek.
Dairy plays an important role in Bulgarian cuisine, especially white brine cheese called sirene. It is found nearly in every dish, salads in particular.
Other common dishes include a cold salad made of yogurt, cucumber, garlic and salt. Often called banitsa, it’s a popular choice during the warm weather.
It is similar to haydari in Turkey or tzatziki in Greece, but it’s a lot tangier and spicier. You can find it in different versions, some of which may contain mushrooms and eggs.
Another popular appetizer is lozovi sarmi, a type of flat meatball that is cooked on the grill and wrapped in grape leaves. The traditional ingredient is beef but you can also find vegetarian versions of the dish.
There are many different types of meats that can be found in Bulgarian cuisine. Some of the more popular are veal and lamb but pork is also a mainstay in the diet. The most popular dishes are baked or steamed, but grilled is also a common cooking style.
Regardless of the main ingredient, a number of dishes feature rice as the primary base. These dishes typically come with a side of kasha (steamed bread) or sarma (grilled meat).
A favorite snack is pastarma, cured beef that has been heavily seasoned and air dried. It is a common staple on the Bulgarian menu and can be eaten either as a snack or a main course.
Some of the best wines in Bulgaria are produced in the Thracian Valley PGI region, located in the southern part of the country. The climate is moderated by the Black Sea, allowing for a mild summer that keeps the acidity in the grapes.
Wines from Bulgaria are highly regarded by leading wine publications and are widely recommended by sommeliers. Their wines are renowned for their quality, value and transparency.
Bulgarian wine is made from a wide range of indigenous and international varieties. The country is divided into two major growing areas: the Thracian Valley and Danube Plain.
The former is home to about 75% of the vineyards and produces mainly red wines. The latter, where Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are the dominant red varieties, has a slightly lower production level.
As with any other wine region, the key to a great Bulgarian wine is the producer’s care and attention to detail. The best Bulgarian wines are crafted from carefully selected grapes, often sourced from small growers who produce wines of unmatched quality.