Whenever someone talks about their favorite cuisine, several popular countries pop up in our minds. Italy, France, India, and China are probably the names that most people can think of. Most likely, Bulgarian cuisine is not something that will strike first. However, it should.
Bulgaria is one of the countries that has a diverse culinary heritage because of its geographical location. It offers an extensive menu with a variety of food, right from the stews to cured sausages to soups and much more. Tasty, fresh, and hearty - that is how you can perfectly describe Bulgarian cuisine. The country is known for preparing its dishes with quality vegetables, dairy products, and using a variety of spices. Bulgarian cuisine is not just fantastic to taste but also eye-pleasing. It contains a lot of colors which makes it look appealing. Although Bulgarian cuisine seems pretty similar to its neighboring countries, Greece and Turkey, they provide it with a bit of twist, making it a treat for the tastebuds.
Since the cuisine in the country is not widely known outside its borders, travelers are constantly searching to know "What is Bulgarian food like?" & "What are the best classic Bulgarian dishes to try in the country?" As Bulgaria is getting featured on backpackers' lists, it's time to jot down some dishes that travelers can't afford to miss on their Bulgaria vacation package. If you, too, are booking a Bulgaria vacation package and looking forward to feast on Bulgarian food but don't know what to try, we are here to help. In this article, we have curated a list of the five best Bulgarian dishes that you ought to try on your vacation. These dishes will not just serve your taste buds with the splash of flavors but also take you through the culture, heritage, and traditions of Bulgaria.
Suggested Read: 4 Best Bulgaria Vacation Packages: Explore the best of the country!
It’s time to get ready to eat to your heart’s content on your Bulgaria vacation package because the local food is so delicious, fresh, and fulfilling that you won’t be able to stop yourself from eating more.
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Mut-To-Eat Dishes On Bulgaria Vacation Package
1. Shopska Salad/Shopska Salata
If Bulgaria had a national dish, it would be Shopska Salata. It is popularly known as the queen of all Bulgarian food, maybe because its color matches the country's flag. Well, Shopska Salata is a traditional salad that plays a significant role in Bulgarian cuisine. As per the local traditions, this is one of those dishes that newlywed couples eat after all the wedding ceremonies. Since the country's citizens love it, it’s one of the dishes that you must try during your Bulgaria vacation package.
Shopska Salata is a plate of delectable salad prepared with roughly chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, onions, and fresh parsley. To make this dish different from other salads, they add a truckload of grated Bulgarian white cheese or 'sirene' over the top. If you are booking a Bulgaria vacation package, we highly recommend you to try this dish. The vegetables and the cheese provide a distinct flavor that makes it taste so good.
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The next dish that Bulgarians absolutely love is Lukanka. If you are searching for a quick snack or appetizer on your Bulgaria vacation package, Lukanka is the best choice. It is richly flavored cured and dried sausages which is quite similar to salami. Lukanka is an aromatic sausage that is made from pork and beef and has a distinctive flattened shape. While preparing, the chefs compress it to give it a semi-rectangular, almost cylindrical shape.
When it comes to taste, Lukanka is semi-dried with heavily spiced flavors of hot and sweet peppers, salt, cumin, nutmeg, black pepper, and coriander. However, depending on the region in Bulgaria, the level of spice in this dish also varies. Since it has all the spices in it, Lukanka is usually served plain as a snack or with fresh cheeses and dips. On your Bulgaria vacation package, we highly recommend you to try Lukanka. Believe us; it tastes divine.
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When we talk about must-try Bulgarian dishes, there’s no way we can leave Tarator. It is a refreshing cold soup made with yogurt, cucumber, garlic, dill, and walnuts. Although you can order this outstanding dish on your Bulgaria vacation package throughout the year, the locals prefer to enjoy it in the summer season. This is because it is not very filling, tastes refreshing, and has cooling effects.
Tarator is quite famous in the country not just for its fantastic taste but also for its health benefits. If you see Bulgarians having their meal, you will find most of them starting with Tarator. There’s hardly any restaurant in the country that does not serve this delicious soup. Interestingly enough, Tarator was actually a Greek recipe and was taken by Bulgarians. However, to make it more luscious, they add some water to it. Regardless of whose recipe it is, Tarator is definitely a dish made in heaven!
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Kebapche is probably the most popular item on the grill in Bulgaria. It is one of the dishes that you find on the table of every Bulgarian family. Kebapche is a variation of the classic kebabs and looks quite similar to meatballs. However, they are in the shape of long sausages made with minced meat and spices like pepper, cumin, salt, etc.
To prepare Kebapche, different parts of the country use different species. They knead the minced meat and spices and leave it for a few hours. This takes up all the smell from the meat. Then, they are shaped into oblong pieces, which are usually 15 cm long and 3 cm in diameter. Before serving, they are baked on a barbeque which provides a smokey texture. It is then served with french fries and sauce on the side. It is one of the go-to snacks in the country and a must-try for everyone on their Bulgaria vacation package.
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Other than Shopska Salata, the dish that gets a lot of love as a national dish is Banitsa. If you are exploring the local cuisine on your Bulgaria vacation package, then it is one of the dishes that you can’t miss trying. It is basically a Bulgarian pastry prepared with a lot of layers of crispy filo pastry. In the country, people prefer to have it for breakfast with boza, a fermented white drink.
There are different recipes in the country to prepare Banitsa, but the most prominent one is with white cheese and beaten eggs. Besides these two ingredients, a range of fillings is used in Banitsa like vegetables, fruits, nuts, yogurt, and more. There are two versions of Banitsa that you can find in the country- savory and sweet. Among the two, the sweeter one is usually served at Christmas, New Year’s eve, or other festivals. Trust us, Banitsa is exceptionally delicious and a must-eat dish on your Bulgaria vacation package.
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