Bulgaria: Food and Drink
Bulgarian cuisine tends to be tasty and hearty. Bulgarians enjoy using fresh ingredients in their cooking and as such, quality vegetables and dairy products are essential. Like many European countries, the food of Bulgaria has been influenced by other cultures, namely Slavic, Turkish, and Greek. On nearly every table in the country, one can expect to find yogurt and white brine cheese (similar to feta). Pork and chicken are the preferred meats and grilling is the favoured method of cooking. Growing fruits, vegetables and herbs is common, and potatoes and salads are usual additions to meals in Bulgaria.
Popular dishes include:
Shopska Salad: Salads are a central part of Bulgarian cuisine, but this version tends to be the favourite. It includes tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, raw or roasted peppers, white brine cheese and parsley. The dressing is either sunflower oil or olive oil.
Banitsa: This is a popular breakfast dish that is simply filo pastry stuffed with various fillings. Such fillings may include cheese, spinach, rice, or meat.
Cheverme: This is an entire lamb that has been roasted over a spit.
Tarator: This is a cold cucumber soup that is made from yogurt, cucumbers, dill, crushed walnuts and spices.
Kavarma: This is an individual casserole that contains pork or veal, onions and mushrooms.
Sarmi: These are cabbage or vine leaves that have been stuffed with meat.
Moussaka: This is a rich dish that contains potatoes, minced meat, and white sauce that is baked in the oven.
Kiselo Mlyako: A traditional Bulgarian yogurt that is used in many dishes.
Due to the climate of Bulgaria, a variety of grapes thrive here. As such, there is a growing wine industry in the country. Popular wines include Gamza, Wide Melnik Vine, Dimyat, Mavrud, Red Misket, Ruby, and Pamid. Beer is also popular in Bulgaria with well-known brands including Kamenitza, Zagorka, Pirinsko and Shumensko.
Things to know:
Only top hotel restaurants tend to add a service charge, so a tip of around 10% is customary.
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