Traditional Bulgarian Food: Local Cuisine

Logo of Introvert - one of the popular coworking hotels in Sofia

You are wondering what not to miss during your stay in Sofia, Bulgaria? Today we will be telling you about some traditional Bulgarian food options you should try. We all know that the cuisine is an important part of a nation and its culture. The Bulgarian cuisine is a combination of centuries-old traditions, an abundance of flavors, and recipes passed down from generation to generation. The influence of the various civilizations that have passed through the Balkans has shaped the modern Bulgarian cuisine.

So, let’s take a look together at some traditional Bulgarian foods and local dishes that are associated with the Sofia region. In the second part of the article, we will give you recommendations for places to enjoy some specialties.

Traditional dishes from the Sofia region

Of course, we will begin with a few dishes typical of the Sofia region that you can try. Each region of Bulgaria is known for its distinctive dishes, which reflect the richness of the local culinary tradition and are inextricably linked to the region’s cultural heritage.

  • Shopska salad – Contains sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, parsley, peppers (roasted or raw) and white brine cheese. If you are in Sofia in the summer, you should definitely try this salad.

  • Dishes with beans – Bean salad, bean soup… This region of the country offers a wide variety of bean-based dishes you should definitely try.

  • Shopski-style white cheese This is cheese roasted with tomato, pepper, and egg in a clay pot. It is often served with hot pepper. You will undoubtedly enjoy it if you are a fan of spicy food.

Traditional Bulgarian Food

  • Kebapche and Kyufte (Meatball) – Finely ground minced meat is well-seasoned with spices, and then grilled. The difference between the two is in their shape – the meatballs are round and are prepared using onions; while kebapche is oblong. Both are typically served with a side dish of potatoes or vegetables, but they pair just as well with lutenitsa.

  • Lutenitsa – Speaking of lutenitsa, let’s clarify what it is. It is prepared from ground roasted red peppers, tomatoes, onions, carrots, in some cases eggplant, and of course, spices. Red peppers are the source of its red color.

  • Stuffed peppers – The name of this dish pretty much suggests how it is prepared. Peppers are hollowed out and filled with stuffing, which is typically rice and minced meat, but there are also vegetarian options – vegetables, beans or eggs and cheese.
  • Moussaka – In the Bulgarian interpreting, this traditional Balkan dish consists of diced potatoes, minced meat, and vegetables (carrots, onions). A special topping of eggs, yogurt, and a little flour for thickening is also prepared for the dish.

  • Sarmi – They are most often present on the table during the Christmas and New Year holidays. They are prepared from finely ground meat and rice and wrapped in cabbage or vine leaves. It is also possible to prepare lean sarmi, with raisins, prunes, and mushrooms typically used for the filling.

  • Meatball soup – This traditional soup is made from broth, vegetables (carrot, onion, celery), and pre-formed small balls of minced meat and spices.

  • Tarator – Another traditional Bulgarian soup, this time cold. Perfect for hot summer days. Grated or cubed cucumber is mixed with yogurt, water (to the desired thickness), garlic, oil, and crushed walnuts (optional).
  • Banitsa – This is rolled out dough or ready-made thin crusts with filling. There are countless varieties when it comes to stuffing. The fillings can be with cheese, meat, vegetables (e.g. spinach, lapad), etc. The banitsa can also be prepared with sweet stuffing, such as a pie with Turkish delight.

  • Mekitsa – Pre-mixed dough is fried in hot oil. Although it doesn’t sound very healthy, we can assure you that it’s very tasty. Mekitsas are typically served in the morning for breakfast. They can be sprinkled with powdered sugar or combined with cheese and blackberry jam.

  • Ayran – Let’s see what ayran is. This is a traditional beverage made with yogurt and water. Yogurt is mixed with water to the desired consistency. If prefered, a pinch of salt can also be added. Banitsa and ayran make the ideal breakfast pair.

  • Boza – Boza is a fermented beverage with a negligible amount of alcohol. The drink is well known throughout the Balkans, and in Bulgaria, it is typically savored alongside a salty banitsa.

  • Rakia – Among the alcoholic beverages, wine, and brandy are very popular. Bulgarians have long traditions of producing the grape beverage, and rakia is typically consumed as an aperitif before a meal. It is a strong liquor from the brandy family.
see more

Related Posts