Hello, Travel Bakers! Bulgarian food is definitely one of the best I experienced in 2016. Traditions, typical inns, healthy ingredients and cheap prices make an unbeatable combination of flavors.
If you pass by Sofia the very first thing I suggest you, my hungry reader, is to do the free Sofia food tour! (also called Balkan Bites). You’ll learn a lot about typical Bulgarian food and you’ll get some free samples in different locals they picked up.
Restaurants are usually very cheap according to Western standards. It might be difficult to find an English-speaking waiter/waitress. In the worst scenario you will just point the stuff on the menu. Usually every plate is indicated with the quantity you will be served.
A lot of cheese!
Dairy products are widespread in the Bulgarian kitchen. There must be a massive amount of livestock in the inland grasslands of Bulgaria. Yoghurts, cheese and milk are acknowledged to be very healthy – that’s why many people live well beyond 100 years here. The bacterium behind the healthiness has a self-explaining name: Lactobacillus bulgaricus. It’s something that we found as well in the Greek and Turkish cuisine.
The shpocka salad (шопска салата) is the typical Bulgarian salad. It is made out of three basic ingredients which resemble the three colors of the national flag: red tomatoes, green cucumbers and white onions. And a good portion of grated white cheese on top. You can find it for as cheap as 4 BGN | 2 €.
Poverty = potatoes
Bulgarian cuisine includes the use of cheap raw ingredients, like potatoes and other vegetables. In this way the patatnik was born: a sort of omelet with cheese, potatoes and herbs. Awesomely tasting!
Bulgarian French fries are homemade fries with Bulgarian sour cheese on top. It’s surely the most served side dish along with the shpocka salad, and alone can easily fill your belly.
Beans and tripe soups (also called the Dragon’s breath, шкембе чорба) are also very common.
Bulgarian way: Stew it!
Another typical dish is the stew. Stews are made in clay pots and contain different meat and vegetables. The use of clay pots in Bulgaria is widespread: they can withstand temperatures as high as 300°C, meanwhile ensuring a thorough baking.
On the go!
Eating on the go is also quite common. There are many kiosks and bakeries. You can find snacks as cheap as 0,60 BGN | 0,30 €. Don’t miss the chance and try something typical Bulgarian, like the mekitse! They are a sort of fried pancakes made with the same dough of the bread and served with custard, nutella, jam or other spreads. Bakery products are those typical of the Balkan cuisine: borek and a lot of cheese, vegetables and meat wrapped in puff pastry.
So yes, Bulgaria and its food definitely surprised me. You’ll also be astonished by the variety of food you can find and how cheap eating out is. I’ll surely come back and try everything I didn’t this time!
Have you ever eaten Bulgarian food?