Bulgarian Food – A Delicious Paradise For Carnivores and Vegetarians

Bulgaria is home to many different foods that are unique and delicious. From fresh salads, chunky soups and slow-cooked stews to juicy, melt-in-the-mouth meats, bulgarian food is sure to please any palate. With some of the best food in Europe, this Balkan country is a paradise for carnivores and vegetarians alike.

Rakia, or plum brandy, is a must-try when visiting Bulgaria. This strong, fruity drink is also available in other flavors such as fig, apricot, peach and apple. In summer, rakia is usually served chilled while in winter it can be mulled with honey and spices to create a warm and comforting beverage.

In addition to being a spirited alcoholic drink, rakia is widely used as a cooking ingredient. It adds a wonderful flavor to both sweet and savory dishes. In fact, rakia can be used as a marinade for meat, fish, poultry or to add a distinctive taste to vegetable and fruit dishes.

Almost every meal in Bulgaria begins with Shopska Salad, which is basically the Bulgarian version of a Greek salad. This refreshing salad features crunchy cucumbers and big red, juicy tomatoes. The salad is dressed with a light dressing made of oil and vinegar. A handful of julienned peppers and brined cheese are then added. The salad is then mixed thoroughly – but not too vigorously as it is important to retain the tomato’s juice and the crunch of the cucumbers.

A typical Bulgarian lunch consists of grilled meats, soups and various vegetable dishes. The most popular grilled meats include veal, pork and lamb. Vegetarians will be happy to know that sarmi (stuffed vegetables) are also available as well as drob sarma, a rice-based dish filled with offal, chopped vegetables and raisins.

Another must-try is shkembe chorba, a soup made of chopped offal, lamb tripe, pork and beef, spiced with paprika, and often with milk. This hearty meal is eaten with a spoon and it is quite filling.

There is an extensive vocabulary in Bulgarian that refers to family relationships. There are words for uncles and aunts as well as a word for brothers’ wives, which is not found in many other languages.

If you are looking for something non-alcoholic to drink during your stay in Bulgaria, try ayran, which is a traditional yogurt drink with salt. It is extremely refreshing in the summer and it is a very affordable option as Bulgaria is rich in mineral water. Other popular drinks include kvass, which is a thick fermented drink made of wheat flour and contains traces of alcohol, kuchentsa which is similar to kvass but it is produced from barley. It has a more distinct and earthy flavor than kvass. You can find both of these beverages in most stores and restaurants. If you’d like to try something a little stronger, Bulgarian beer is inexpensive and available in many varieties, such as lager, dark and IPA beers. A wide variety of wines are also available in Bulgaria.