Bulgaria is a country rich in culture, tradition, folklore and history. This is reflected in its music, art and language.
The Bulgarian culture is based around family and its strong sense of community. Bulgarians are highly patriotic and pride themselves on their traditions, customs and heritage.
In Bulgaria, families are generally extended and several generations still live under one roof. The family unit is a very important social structure, as it provides the foundation of society and the support network that is crucial in everyday life.
Families tend to have a hierarchy where responsibilities are assigned and respected accordingly. This is often manifested in the way that a person with more years of experience is accorded more privileges and is honoured at special occasions.
A common feature of Bulgarian culture is its respect for older people. This can be seen in the way that the oldest members of a group are greeted first, accorded titles, served before other people and often given the highest place at a meal.
This is also evident in the way that younger members are expected to help the elderly. This is a very important part of Bulgarian culture, as the elders will be there to guide and encourage the younger generation and they are also often there to teach them how to do different things.
The main religion is the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and the majority of Bulgarians are Orthodox Christians. Despite Communist attempts to destroy the Christian religion, it has remained strong and remains a central part of Bulgarian culture.
Bulgarian cuisine is quite varied and has many distinct flavors and tastes. The most common types of food are grilled meat, pastas and rice dishes.
Kebapche (grilled minced meat stick) is a dish that is particularly popular in Bulgaria. It is typically made of a combination of pork and beef and seasoned with black pepper and cumin. It is a delicious and filling meal that pairs perfectly with French fries and a Shopska salad!
Kyufte (meatballs) is another traditional Bulgarian dish. These are usually made of minced beef and pork, seasoned with cumin and black pepper and it is perfect to have with French fries and a Shopska salad!
Besides the delicious grilled meat, Bulgaria also has an abundance of other tasty dishes. Soups are an important part of Bulgarian cuisine and there are many to choose from.
Chubritsa – This herb is a staple in Bulgaria and is used to flavor many dishes, but it’s especially good in soups. It’s very pronounced herbal flavor blends well with other herbs and spices, so it makes for a great base to soups that contain meat or beans.
Sharena Sol – This salty mix of herbs is one of the most common Bulgarian condiments and is so good with bread! Just dip your favorite Bulgarian bread in this mixture and you are ready to taste the best of Bulgarian food.
Lutenitsa – This tomato and red pepper chutney is another popular Bulgarian food that has been enjoyed for centuries. It is a great condiment to spread on bread or use as a topping for pizzas and burgers!