Bulgarian cuisine impresses with its diversity and is considered one of the healthiest in Europe. It has been shaped by centuries of tradition and the influence of neighboring countries, particularly Greece and Turkey, as well as the Middle East, Hungary, Italy and other Mediterranean countries. This combination ensures there is something for every visitor on a Bulgarian menu.
Bulgaria’s warm climate and geographical diversity provides a wealth of fresh vegetables, herbs and fruits (often organic). Bulgarian food is quite light and features large amounts of stewed vegetables and rich salads. Soups, both hot and cold, are often eaten, for example the cold soup Tarator.
Bulgarian cuisine abounds in flavorsome meat – pork, veal and chicken are the most consumed. Fish and seafood are popular on the coast. Most dishes are baked, steamed or stewed. Frying is rare but grilling, especially of meat, is popular. Thus the meals preserve taste and nutrients.
Delicious cheese and yogurt are essential components of Bulgarian cuisine. Sirene is a famous white cheese, similar to feta, which is often served in salads. Kiselo mlyako is known not only in Bulgaria as a creamy yogurt that has important nutritional properties, due to the presence of the bacteria Lactobacillus bulgaricus. Bulgarians also consume large quantities of bread to accompany dishes on the main menu.
Bulgarian desserts are very imaginative and tasty, often prepared with fruit, nuts, syrups and sweet pastry, for example Baklava.