Bulgarian cuisine is rich and diverse, offering a variety of flavorful dishes. Here are 10 must-try Bulgarian dishes that showcase the country’s culinary heritage:
A popular pastry made with layers of thin dough, eggs, and white cheese. Banitsa can also include other ingredients like spinach, leeks, or pumpkin. It’s often enjoyed as a breakfast dish or during festive occasions.
Kavarma is a slow-cooked stew made with a combination of meats (typically pork or chicken), vegetables, and a savory mix of spices. It’s known for its rich and hearty flavor, often served in a clay pot.
Bulgarian meatballs or kyufte are made from minced meat, usually beef or pork, mixed with spices like cumin and savory herbs. They are shaped into patties and grilled or fried, often served with a side of fresh vegetables or potatoes.
Shopska Salad (Шопска салата)
A refreshing and colorful salad consisting of diced tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and onions, topped with grated sirene cheese (a type of feta) and dressed with olive oil and vinegar. Shopska salad is a staple in Bulgarian cuisine.
Tarator is a cold summer soup made with yogurt, cucumbers, garlic, dill, and walnuts. It’s a refreshing dish, perfect for hot days, and showcases the use of yogurt in Bulgarian cuisine.
Meshana Skara (Мешана скара)
Translating to „mixed grill,“ Meshana Skara is a carnivore’s delight. It includes a variety of grilled meats, such as kebapche (spiced minced meat skewers), kyufte, and different cuts of meat. The dish is often accompanied by a side of fresh vegetables.
Sirene po Shopski (Сирене по шопски)
Sirene po Shopski features grilled sirene cheese, topped with tomatoes, red peppers, and a poached egg. It’s a delicious and satisfying dish, highlighting the versatility of sirene cheese.
Bulgarian Yogurt (Българско кисело мляко):
While not a dish per se, Bulgarian yogurt is a must-try. Known for its unique taste and health benefits, Bulgarian yogurt is often enjoyed with honey, fruit, or as an ingredient in various dishes.
Patatnik is a traditional Bulgarian potato dish made with grated potatoes, onions, and seasoning. The mixture is shaped into a round form and baked or fried. It’s a comforting dish with a crispy exterior and a soft, flavorful inside.
Tutmanik is a type of bread or pastry made with layers of dough, eggs, and yogurt. Sometimes it includes white cheese or even minced meat. This dish is often prepared for special occasions and family gatherings.
Exploring these dishes will give you a delightful taste of Bulgaria’s culinary traditions.