Bulgaria

Posted By Kerri

So Bulgarian food..we weren’t sure what to expect really but thought it might be a little like Greek food. I suppose it was really, lots of grilled meat and salad. Lots of salad. Salad which is basically big chunks of tomato, cucumber and celery with grated white cheese on top, an olive and a sprig of basil. Sometimes there were slices of pepper too. We were offered this everywhere we went so it’s obviously a local speciality. The cheese is a little like Feta but firmer and saltier.

Below is a selection of food we ate at the wedding we attended, starting with salad (obviously!)

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This was more salad, attractively arranged to look like a fish:

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Selection of dried meats:

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And Stephen’s plate of food which included some grilled meats, some potaotes and a stuffed vine leaf:

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And some of the cocktails we enjoyed.

Europe (I can’t remember what was in this but it was the barman’s own creation and consisted almost entirely of alcohol….we had to let all the ice melt and top it up with water before we could drink it)

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Little Planet which contained a whole orange!

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Sadly there are no pictures of the Bulgarian Mojito which uses sage instead of mint πŸ™

Finally, some Turkish Delight we bought from the supermarket:

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Aug 8th, 2007

12 Comments to 'Bulgaria'

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  1. Stephen said,

    Somehow I do manage to remember what was in the Europe cocktail. There were three layers. The bottom layer was Grenadine, the middle was Blue Curacao mixed with Sprite and the top was Midori.

    The “small planet” had a layer of Grenadine between the two halves of the orange, vodka and orange juice underneath and a splash of Blue Curacao on the top. It tasted rather like a tequila sunrise but with vodka instead of tequila.

  2. Kerri said,

    Oh, small planet..I thought it was little. He told us what percentage alcohol was didn’t he? Can you remember that too Mr Memory?

  3. Stephen said,

    I think he said something like “they are all 50 ml shots”…

    And the salad with tomato, cucumber (and sometimes roasted red pepper), covered in cheese is Shopka salad πŸ™‚

  4. Richard said,

    looks great – particularly like Stephen’s plate, the vine leaf being the vegetable portion for the day? πŸ˜‰
    And how do you drink a “small planet”? Does the straw go all the way through the orange?

  5. Stephen said,

    I figured that after the starter course of salad, I didn’t need many vegetables for my main course πŸ™‚ I was almost fooled by what I think was breaded and fried red pepper (I’d initially thought it was an escalope of something meat-related) but managed to identify it and not disturb my otherwise meat-centric main course.

    The “small planet” had a hole through both orange halves and the straw went through them. You can just see the black of the straw at the top of the picture. I wanted to mix it up though, so I removed the top half and managed to dislodge the bottom half (it was stuck into the glass quite firmly) and stir the orange juice and the grenadine together.

  6. Stephen said,

    Actually something that we hadn’t mentioned before was that everything on restaurant menus has a weight next to it. We’re used to that with steak, but in Bulgaria everything has a weight, be it salad, risotto, or “pork loin withΒ prunes and edible boletuses”.

    We had a comedy meal in our hotel and the food was not great. We had a really good meal in another hotel which was excellent. The prices were almost exactly the same.

  7. Kerri said,

    Edible boletuses being mushrooms just in case some of the people reading are not Bulgarian πŸ™‚

  8. Fiona said,

    It’s Fiona (lephin) here, am totally amazed (concerned?) by the food/drinks. The salad fish and whole orange cocktail are particular favourites. No wonder you didn’t post a foody report, Kerri.

  9. Hi, hi, it’s very interesting to read all comments, being used to this sort of thing in Bulgaria, I don’t notice a lot of it. I must say the coctails in Europe were uncanny in some cases. But I’d like to explain about the wedding food. In Summer, people eat salads and grilled meat, in Winter, they eat salads, soups and stews. Traditionally, Bulgarian meals start with a salad and a rakia and most popular is the Shopska salad which originates from the Sofia region. No celery is used, but roast peppers feature frequently along with parsley. In fact in the Summer in the country, whole communities are overwhelmed of the smell of peppers being roasted at lunchtime. Even Lundulph and I dragged home a pepper roaster the other year. The salad that looks like a fish is actually a typical Winter salad made on grated carrots and shredded white cabbage. Bulgarian white cabbage is a bit more tender than most available in Western Europe and is also very good for making sauerkraut.
    The dried meats are part of the “starter” in Winter and are pastarma or dried fillet, very much like the South African billtong. The other two are like flat salami and are called lukanka and sujuk.
    The peppers that Stephen skipped are called byurek and it’s a large red roasted and peeled pepper, filled with feta cheese, battered and shallow fried.
    I’ll stop now, because thinking of all these foods is making me drool.

  10. No, actually I want to explain about the mushrooms, we worked it out on the Nature Trail children’s park in Koprivshtitza.
    The Boletus edulis (which I’m sure does indeed mean edible boletuses) is better known as porcini, but there is a poisonous double, the aptly named Devil’s bolete. Sadly Bulgarians haven’t worked out the world of the Internet and that you can look things up on what they’re called in other languages.

  11. Stephen said,

    Thanks for all the information Caramella Mou πŸ™‚ And making me realise that I misspelled “Shopska” in my previous comment πŸ˜‰ I liked that the tomatoes in the salad were generally really red and juicy.

    I got the impression that the restaurant in our hotel used “edible boletus” as the translation for any variety of mushroom because there was no mention of mushrooms on the menu other than that. Maybe they were all actually porcini though, I’m not sure. I ordered something with mushrooms in the really good restaurant that we went to on Monday night (at the Hotel Crystal Palace!) but sadly I don’t remember what it called it on the menu there.

    Hmm the byurek sounds interesting, I’m disappointed that I skipped it now. I think my favourite of the dried meats was the pastarma rather than the salami type ones, although I had to eat them all several times to be sure πŸ™‚

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