Bulgaria is a European nation, but many oversees guests are surprised to find that our cuisine may share similarities with that of some Middle Eastern dishes. Did you know that our country is a substantial exporter of lambs, and many folks here consume more yogurt per capita compared to other places in Europe? Here are a few common dishes to get you started on a culinary journey to Bulgaria.
Do you like cheese? How about feta cheese on your salad? Especially in the United States, finding quality artesian cheese can be costly or a fruitless search. But in Bulgaria, we have a special cheese called Sirene, also known as “white brine sirene.” It is made from a goat, cow, sheep, or a combination of them. It is crumbly and used as table cheese, for baking, or in salads.
Soups and stews are a common staple to have in your recipe books, as they are enjoyed around the world. Teleshko Vareno is a traditional Bulgarian beef stew best eaten in cold winter weather. It is generally made from the shin cut of the cow, and is simmered for three to four hours with vegetables. When it is finally done, everything will have absorbed each other’s flavors for this classic delight.
Bulgaria also has a lot of sausages in their cuisine. One type of sausage often served as a cold cut, is Lukanka. It is made from pork and veal, and resembles salami. Sometimes it has a spicy flavor as well, for that extra kick.