History of Bulgarian Cuisine
The history of Bulgaria is closely connected with the warm climate and traditions in the field of agriculture. Bulgarian cuisine accordingly represents a legacy of the country's agrarian past. This is manifested primarily in the large number of vegetables and fruits in most Bulgarian recipes. The similarity of the climate with Greece, Turkey, and the Mediterranean also ensured similarity in culinary terms.
Bulgarian Cuisine Traditions
The main difference between Bulgarian cuisine and the above countries is the use of sunflower oil by Bulgarian cooks instead of olive oil. The cooking technology for many Bulgarian dishes boils down to mixing raw ingredients and simmering over low heat. We can say that Bulgarian dishes are a real find for a gourmet. This is due to the heritage of the best traditions of both European and Asian cuisines. A large number of culinary traditions that came from Greece and the Mediterranean, as well as peasant dishes characteristic of Slavic cuisines, are all reflected in Bulgarian cuisine.
Vegetables in Bulgarian Cuisine
Bulgarian cuisine is quite popular among people leading a healthy lifestyle. This is facilitated by the presence of more vegetables, which, depending on the recipe, are served raw, pickled or stewed. The most common types of vegetables in Bulgarian cuisine include peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, onions, carrots, cabbage and cauliflower. The recipe for stuffed bell peppers has taken its place in the world of culinary art.
Bulgarian Meat Dishes
Despite the large number of Bulgarian recipes from vegetables, meat is also not uncommon in Bulgarian cooking. The main types of meat consumed in Bulgaria are pork, beef and chicken. Less often you can find dishes in the recipe of which rabbit or duck meat is used - such dishes are typical for rural areas. The most typical way to prepare meat dishes is grilling and stewing; frying is less common. Both meat and vegetable dishes in Bulgarian cuisine are always accompanied by a large amount of spices - hot and allspice, bay leaves, green onions and garlic. Many Bulgarian dishes include ingredients such as offal. The use of such ingredients is due to the fact that Bulgarians do not like to throw away anything, so that nothing goes to waste.
Cheeses and Dairy Products in Bulgarian Cuisine
A real symbol of Bulgarian cuisine and a component of various dishes is feta cheese. Not a single feast can be done without it. It is often served with bread and herbs. Most Bulgarian salads contain feta cheese. Bulgarian cooking makes significant use of fermented milk products. Today, yogurt is not at all an attribute of Bulgarian cooking, however, in Bulgaria it is used as sauces to which herbs are added, and even as part of the recipe for cold soup - tarator. This soup is fully consistent with the traditions of Bulgarian cuisine, as it contains a lot of vegetables, spices, and grated nuts. Bulgarian cuisine is not devoid of the use of ordinary cheese. In this country, it is mainly produced from goat and sheep milk - this choice of raw materials leads to a rather specific taste of the cheese.