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Bulgarian cuisine — classics and traditions on

The expression “Russian and Bulgarian are brothers forever” was once popular.

Time goes and everything changes, but I want to believe that our proximity has remained not only geographical and historical, but continues to be spiritual. Olga Zakharova, columnist for Gastronom magazine visited Sozopol and shared with all her observations: "Acquaintance with the culture of another people can be started simply and pleasantly — with an introduction to its cuisine. And it’s better not at a restaurant, but at home.

In Bulgaria, I was lucky: I saw the national culinary classics through the eyes of the locals and tried it out of their hands. ".

It’s probably not worth waiting for Bulgaria for something exotic and unique. And although the expression about a bird abroad is rather banal, I have a feeling of long and close acquaintance from the south of Bulgaria.

It was as if I returned to the distant past, when I rested with my parents on the Black Sea.

It was a good and careless past. And the present here — in Sozopol, all on the same Black Sea — turned out to be extremely pleasant.

Already on the second day of my Balkan journey, I met two colorful people: Petya Marinova, the mistress of a vegetable shop, and Angel Petrov, a seller of meat.

As is often the case on vacation, bazaars and markets are an indispensable item on the “must-see” list. Even if you do not need to buy anything, you still come, stomp along the rows, like other idle curious visitors, wondering about, smelling, touching, trying, wondering or distressing.

It is impossible to resist the charm of the market.

And here I am “in full dress”: in one hand there is a bag with apples and plums, in the other — tomatoes, greens and a small jar of lutenitsa paste-sauce. In the vegetable shop talking to the hostess. The holiday season has not yet begun, and there were few new faces on the market, so talkative Peter was quick and reacted to my greeting and picky choice of her goods.

She immediately began to find out who I was and where I was from. AND lutenitsu I practically forcibly handed: “Take it, take it! You will certainly come for her.

Just do not forget to buy bread for her and siren«.

Siren?

The one from the myths ?! No, it is “siren” or “siren” with the emphasis on “and” — as the Bulgarians call white pickled cheese. It is rather salty, spicy, and it is often used just as a seasoning and a bright flavoring, as in the case of Shopska salad or luteinica.

And in fact, and in another case, the cheese is usually rubbed on a coarse grater and spread on top — «hat».

And I really came again — the very next day. Luthenitsa was eaten instantly, because she liked everything: she was rather hot and fragrant.

It turned out that Petya does it herself, and on some unimaginable scale with three-liter banks.

And, most interestingly, most of them are not for sale, but are sent to relatives and friends living in Sofia.

Having tasted one of the main local specialties, I came to the meeting, armed with paper and a pen to write the recipe. This was not so simple, and it took me a lot of paper.

Petya counted all tens of kilograms, and most importantly — her story was not limited to just a lyutenitsa.

Lyutenitsa.

“You see, vegetables and fruits — everything that you see in this store is the basis of our table.

Without this, there is no Bulgarian cuisine. It is simple and satisfying.

For me, first of all green.

Yes, we still love bread, yogurt and cheese. We eat a lot of meat and do not refuse fish, but everything alive, grown on the ground: tomatoes, peppers, spinach, cabbage, beans — this is our foundation!

Yes, and herbs.

Indeed, without thin fresh blades of grass you cannot cook a tasty dish. Parsley, thyme, green onions — all this is very Bulgarian.

We eat a lot of fresh vegetables, but we like stewed and baked dishes, especially in pots. Good or bad, but we are not in any hurry.

We cook for a long time and we like to sit at the table for a long time.

And although I am a small fan of dry mixes, we have “sharena sol«.

This is the most famous revision, in Russian — seasoning.

At my home, she always stands on the table, and my mother and my grandmother. It is a mixture of different parts of chubrika, smindukh (fenugreek), paprika and salt.

Some more add corn flour or ground fried grains of corn, dry garlic, roasted pumpkin seeds, walnuts. Due to the variety of color of the ingredients, it is often poured in layers into small flasks, and it turns out very nicely. Tourists think that this is only to decorate the kitchen, and it is necessary to eat it, to cook with it.

I add salt to the dough for the flat cakes, just pour it on bread, on cheese, seasoning vegetables, boiled eggs and macaroni.

Taste shareni sol, I recognize among many others and never confuse. It is like the flavor of baked ingots. No wonder that sweet pepper is called “Bulgarian” everywhere.

In Bulgaria, especially in large cities, do you know what used to be the best gift for a hostess? Chushkopek!

It is such an electrical device with legs, such as a portable stove, especially for roasting peppers. True, it contained only 3-4 peppers, and it was going slowly, but it was going! In the villages, of course, and at the dachas, pepper was always cooked over the coals, then collected in a large bowl, covered with foil, waited and cleaned the skin.

But they do it everywhere, baking and hovering peppers.

And only we have baked pepper «more important» than fresh.

The first and most famous dish with him — pigs burek — baked pepper, which is first stuffed with siren, and then paned and fried in oil.

And the rest — it is simply eaten with bread, added to salads, caviar, used as a side dish and stuff. For example, I cook with him mishmash. This is a rustic summer dish.

Usually, onions, peppers and tomatoes are cut in medium slices, fried with garlic. Then add crushed cheese and drive a couple of eggs.

And all the time they interfere, interfere and stir.

I fry only the tomatoes and onions, and add the baked pepper at the very end.

It is sweeter and goes well with salt of brynza, and still gives a fire, and the dish becomes very rustic.

So you liked my lyutenitsa ?!

You haven’t tried it yet. raki! This is the best snack under it.

Only lutenitsu must be mixed with boiled beans and go!

Prepare this to your man, and he will be very pleased — this will also work great for cold vodka.

By the way, you can make lutenits yourself, and not just buy from me. After all, do you have strong and fleshy pigs in Moscow?

What about good bread?

I think that there is nothing better than a layer of lutenica on fresh bread. Although we believe that it is usually eaten by children. And adults or with meat, or with boiled beans.

I add a lot of garlic and chili to it so that it is a bit fiercely spicy.

If I make for children, then I put more sweet pepper and vinegar and replace it with lemon juice. See how simple it is! ”

Patatnik, potato pie.

A meeting with Angel Petrov occurred a few days later, when I entered the port Bistro «Zoe». I must say that Sozopol itself is very disposed to a long feast.

Translated from the Greek, its name means “City of Salvation”, and it is the oldest Bulgarian city on the Black Sea coast. The Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Genoese, and Turks were noted here.

The city is intimate, calm, a little sleepy, constantly or just cooking, or already absorbing food. At lunchtime, every window smells of stewed meat or fried fish, baked vegetables, fresh bread and, of course, the chiming of spoons, plates and glasses.

There are many cafes and small restaurants, but “Zoe” is a special place.

First, the windows overlook the sea, and in anticipation of food, especially on the open terrace of the second floor, there is always something to see, and secondly, they are fed here to conscience.

Nearby there are several small farms for growing mussels, and the bistro menu has more than a dozen dishes with them.

And this is in addition to Lavrak, flounder, fish, needles and other seafood.

The angel spoke to us first. As it turned out later, during his student years, he came to Russia many times and even wanted to marry the lovely girl Natasha from Leningrad.

Hearing that we speak Russian, I could not resist and asked for permission to join our company. And he came to us not empty-handed. “And I see you are fish lovers. This is correct, but if you want to taste Bulgarian cuisine, be sure to try our meat and sausages.

And I tell you this not as a seller, but as a patriot of my country! For example, lukanka«, — and the talkative Bulgarian laid on the table a loaf of sausage, which immediately cut into thin slices. “This is a dry sausage, necessarily a characteristic flattened form, covered with a white noble mold. It is made from pork and beef plus seasonings.

Each region has its own ratio of meat and its spices. I come from the village of Panagyurk, and our Lukanka claims to receive the title of “product with a protected geographic name.”

It differs from others by the predominance of beef, with 70% of it being only 30% of pork. And we add black pepper and cumin.

Try it!

Is there some more sudzhuk, which is traditionally made in the shape of a horseshoe, cudweed, cheese or cooked smoked Nadenitsa and its subspecies — kyrvavitsa with by-products and blood added to ground beef.

Veal and vegetables stewed with wine.

If you try meat in a restaurant, order kawarma and, if lucky, in radomirskiy. For her, onion, sweet pepper, pork fillet and brisket are cut, fried, then stewed with red wine, pickled cucumbers, long-bore, paprika and lyuta with chushka (hot pepper).

Stew laid out in pots and baked in the stove or oven. At the very end, in each pot they smash an egg and, when it is baked, the dish should be eaten right away, certainly very hot, burning and quietly, scolding with pleasure.

And be sure to ask for “torches” — meze (snacks) made from pickled vegetables.

Yes, do not forget to drink a glass of wine. I do not know your tastes, but the 3-year-old Ruby Thracian wine Mavrud is a good option.

And further wine from the town of Melnik. Previously, it was exported to Western Europe. It is obtained from the so-called wide Melnika vine.

This unique grape, originally from Syria, came to Bulgaria in the 16th century.

The wine is so thick that they say about it: “You can take it with you in a scarf.

And you, I see, do not smoke? It’s good.

Although Russian and Bulgarian are similar, we have a few forbidden words that, from the point of view of your compatriots, are completely harmless.

Never, wanting to light, do not ask for matches!

This word is consonant with the designation of femininity. And be careful with the chicken.

In this case, you will touch on the topic of masculinity. And a cup in Bulgaria is not for tea, for it is a “cup”, and a “cup” is a “glass”, a “shot glass” for vodka or brandy.

In the evening, by the way, come to my shop, I will treat you to excellent plum brandy from Troyan.

Mackerel in tomato sauce.

Chushka burek stuffed with sweet pepper.

Specialties not to be missed:

Kebapche

This Bulgarian cousin Chevapchichi from the former Yugoslavia, Romanian-Moldavian mititeev and Caucasian lula-kebabs.

Prepared from pork or pork and beef with the addition of black pepper and cumin, on the grill.

Served with french fries and grated cheese. Served with french fries and grated cheese.

Shop Salad

Coarsely chopped tomatoes, onions, cucumbers and sweet, inapplicable red pepper with the addition of grated pickled cheese and chopped parsley — what could be more accessible?

Red — Green — White Shop Salad repeats the colors of the Bulgarian flag.

Flower Locum

If you see the sale of small bright cardboard boxes with the inscription «Flower Locum», immediately take it.

This is exactly the Bulgarian sweetness, which is prepared with natural rose oil.

Banitsa

This crispy twisted pastry made from turning measles (like filo) can be bought in bakeries across the country. Classic fillings — pickled cheese, leek, spinach, pumpkin. It is also found with apples and walnuts.

Banitsa is an integral part of the Bulgarian breakfast.

To strengthen its traditions, it is recommended to drink a bose drink made from fermented wheat.

Moussaka

The most popular dish of the whole Balkan region.

There is a joke that a Bulgarian cannot marry a woman who does not know how to make a good moussaka.

Unlike the Greek eggplant variant, the local potato casserole, with the obligatory top layer of yoghurt sauce, plus, of course, minced pork.

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