Bulgarian cuisine is a blend of tastes of the Balkan Peninsula. It is exceptionally diverse and delicious consisting of salads, soups, stews, grills and other local dishes. Many of the dishes are cooked according to traditional recipes handed down from one generation to the next over the centuries.
Bulgaria is internationally known for its yoghurt and feta cheese which are popular ingredients in many national dishes.
The popular breakfast dishes are banitsa (dough with various fillings, such as cheese, spinach, rice, and meat), mekitsas (fried dough pieces) and fried bread slices. All of these topped with jam, marmalade, honey or Bulgarian yoghurt.
The favourite salads are Shopska, Shepherd’s, Snezhanka and Roasted Peppers Salad.
Amongst the soups, it is worth noting the cold soup Tarator (prepared with yoghurt, cucumbers, dill, crushed walnuts and spices).
Some of the most popular Bulgarian dishes are grilled – meatballs, kebapches, grilled meat pieces, grilled sausages. Various stews and dishes cooked in clay pots are also a regular part of the Bulgarian cuisine, such as Gyuvech, Chomlek, Kavarma, and Kapama. Another favourite Bulgarian dish is sarmi (minced meat and rice stuffed in sour cabbage or wine leaves). One of the trademarks of the Bulgarian cuisine is Cheverme – an entire lamb roasted on a spit. A delicious potato-based dish is the patatnik. There are a wide variety of cold cuts and other meat specialities, such as Lukanka, Banski Starets, Pastarma, Babek, Elena.
Typical Bulgarian wines are Gamza (North Bulgaria), the Wide Melnik Vine (from the regions of Melnik and Sandanski), Dimyat (from the areas of Varna, Shumen and Stara Zagora), Mavrud (Plovdiv, Pazardzhik, Asenovgrad), Red Misket (Straldzha and Sungurlare), Ruby (Plovdiv and Septemvri) and Pamid (Pazardzhik, Pamidovo and Plovdiv). The Bulgarian spirit Rakia is made of grapes or other fruits such as plums, apricots, figs, pears.