Bulgarian food has earned its reputation as one of the healthiest in the world. In addition to being hearty and delicious, it’s also very simple to prepare, making Bulgarian dishes some of the most classic and satisfying meals you can make at home with just basic ingredients. Try some of these classic Bulgarian foods and you’ll see why they’re so popular among people who want healthy, tasty meals without sacrificing flavor or quality!
There is nothing quite like a bowl of hearty soup to warm you up on a cold winter day. In Bulgaria, soups are not only delicious but also nutritious, as they are typically made with plenty of vegetables. Some popular varieties include shorba (a lamb and vegetable soup), tarator (a cold cucumber soup), and tripe soup. Gluten-free eaters will be happy to know that many Bulgarian soups are naturally glutten free, as they do not contain any wheat or flour. And because they are so nutrient-rich, these soups can help boost your immune system and protect you from disease.
Ayran is a cold, salty beverage that is enjoyed throughout Eastern Europe. In Bulgaria, it is often served alongside food. The word ayran comes from Turkish language, where it means milk – but don’t be fooled by its name! Bulgarian ayran doesn’t contain any dairy products; instead, it’s made with yogurt. Some people also add salt to their ayran for extra flavor, which will also help you feel better if you’re suffering from dehydration due to hot summer temperatures or illness. A couple drops of black pepper are also good for digestion! So next time you’re out at your favorite café or restaurant in Bulgaria, order an ayran – or two!
Shopska salad is a Bulgarian classic – a refreshing mix of tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and peppers, all topped with grated sirene. It’s simple, nutritious, and gluten-free. Another popular salad is tarator – a cold soup made of yogurt, water, garlic, dill, and cucumber.
It’s perfect for hot summer days and is also disease-free. In contrast to these two salads, are two dishes more representative of what Bulgarians call fast food – pitina (meat pie) and shkembe chorba (a spicy bean soup). Pitina is more like a samosa without the spicy seasoning. And while you may be imagining it as an appetizer in restaurants, this dish is typically enjoyed as an evening meal because it’s so filling. Similarly, shkembe chorba isn’t only served in restaurants or at celebrations – Bulgarians love to have this hearty dish on their dinner table every day.
This hearty soup can contain beans, vegetables, and various seasonings. It’s so popular in Bulgaria that some places serve it during important holidays like Christmas, Easter, or New Year’s Day. All of these meals are perfect for those following a gluten-free diet since they contain no wheat. Another plus? These dishes are also disease-free – meaning you can enjoy them without worrying about whether or not you’re getting sick down the road!
Meats and Fish
No Bulgarian feast is complete without an abundance of meats and fish. Some popular dishes include shkembe chorba, a tripe soup; kavarma, a stew made with pork, lamb, or beef; and moussaka, a casserole-like dish made with eggplant, potatoes, meat, and cheese. For those who are looking for gluten-free options, there are plenty of delicious meat-based dishes to choose from.
Some more traditional choices are tarator, a cold soup made with yogurt and cucumbers; pirnatzi skripka, deep fried breaded veal cutlets; shesto lukava (or shestata lukava), six pickled tomatoes in oil or vinegar. The next time you’re in Sofia make sure to try these classic foods – they’ll fill your stomach as well as your soul!
Be sure to try some meats such as kashkaval, a spicy cheese spread; banitsa, a pastry filled with various fillings including spinach and cheese; mastika, a creamy blend of butter, egg yolks, and lemon zest. Bulgarians are known for their appetites so you’re in for a treat!
Grains, Rice, Breads, Potatoes
Bulgaria is a land of rich, earthy flavors. The food here is hearty and filling, perfect for a country with long, cold winters. Grains and rice are staples of the Bulgarian diet, as are breads and potatoes. All of these foods are gluten-free, making them perfect for those with celiac disease or other gluten sensitivities. Rice can be served plain with meat or beans, or you can try Bulgarians’ favorite dish – pilaf – which includes mixed grains like rice, millet, wheat berries and maize.
Bulgarians love to top their dishes off with tangy yogurt sauce called tarator; it’s similar to tzatziki but thicker and more creamy. Tarator is made from strained yogurt mixed with water, garlic cloves, chopped cucumbers and walnuts. It’s often enjoyed on its own or with fried fish. Bulgur is another popular grain in Bulgaria, especially during winter months when fresh vegetables are hard to come by. Bulgur comes in two varieties: cracked and whole grain. Cracked bulgur is easier to cook than whole grain bulgur because it cooks quickly without pre-soaking. Bulgur may also be boiled, baked or sautéed and seasoned with vegetable oil, onions, parsley and lemon juice. Bulgarians usually serve this dish with chicken or lamb. Whole grain bulgur takes much longer to cook because the larger pieces need time to absorb liquid before they become tender enough to eat.
There’s nothing like a sweet treat to finish off a meal, and in Bulgaria, there are plenty of delicious desserts to choose from. One popular option is ”Tikvenik”, a pastry made with pumpkin and walnuts. Another is ”Baklava”, a rich, flaky pastry made with honey and nuts. If you’re looking for something gluten-free, ”Halva” is a great choice. This dessert is made with sunflower seeds, almonds, and raisins. No matter what your preference, you’re sure to find a dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth in Bulgaria.
There are also many savory options in Bulgaria, such as “Moussaka”, a traditional dish made with eggplant, ground meat, tomato sauce, and other ingredients. It is also popular to order “Shopska Salata”. This salad is made with tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, feta cheese and a variety of spices. You may also want to try some dishes made with cabbage and peppers, as well as various soups featuring beans or lentils. Whatever you decide to eat in Bulgaria, you’ll be satisfied after filling up on delicious meals all day long!