The recipe is very quick to prepare, so Bulgarians often make it when they are short on time. Tarator [ таратор]: a cold soup made with yogurt, cucumber, walnut, dill, a bit of oil, and water. Sirene (сирене), the most popular cheese, is one of the most popular ingredients in Bulgarian cuisine, and is used in everything from salads to pastries. Discovering new foods is one of my favorite parts about travel. We stick to fish when it’s available. This cold, … Lyutetnisa. It’s cooked on a stove first, then baked in the oven for a final “roasty” flavor. -Imate li yastiya bez meso? Our favorite restaurant in Bansko is a fish farm. As a couple consisting of a vegetarian (reluctant pescaterian when traveling) and a picky eater, food is always a challenge when we travel. Vihren and Koncheto Ridge, Bulgaria, A Roadtrip to Melnik, Bulgaria’s Laidback Wine Country, A Independent Travel Guide to Kassala, Sudan, Why and How to Travel Sudan Independently, Gran Cir Hike on Gardena Pass, The Dolomites, 2 Days in Luxor, How Not to Get Templed-Out, $20 Google Fi Credit - pay-as-you-go data plan for 170+ countries, #VanLife, Our Solar Power Setup For Fulltime Van Living, Ultimate Roadtrip! Bulgarian cuisine shares many of the not-so-vegetarian-friendly characteristics with other Balkan and Eastern European Countries. To be honest, I didn’t care too much for it. GOOD. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. You can order it at many restaurants serving local food. Find me on Instagram (I hang out there a lot). This cold, raw soup made of diced cucumbers, dill, yogurt, garlic, and walnuts can be ordered at almost every restaurant, and it is both thirst-quenching and staves off hunger. Mostly meat: lamb, veal, and beef. Every mehana offers different types of soup. It turned out to be a cold, thing yoghurt-based soup with slices of cucumber and dill. Monks Salad on the menu is described as “strained yoghurt, cheese, roasted peppers, and garlic”. Sometimes the English translation would say something like “tomatoes with cheese”, only to be followed right below it by another dish described as “tomatoes with cheese and cheese”. They make up a major part of the vegetarian cuisine in the country and are mixed with vegetables in salads or used in baked and grilled dishes. Craving for that different kind of foods looks so yummy. I didn’t expect it to look like scoops of ice cream. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! It’s a secret menu because it’s listed as “chicken tile”. “We’ll see what comes out” becomes our mantra after we order. Maybe it means the latter uses 2 different types of cheese? We couldn’t handle sipping it, so we drank it as a shot. So it took me a few spoonfuls to break that association. Tarator Soup was an item I got when I asked the waitress for something “traditional and vegetarian”. [moh-yay lee toh-vah da ay bez may-so], Please-моля- molya [mohl-ya] Thank you-благодаря: blagodarya[blah-go-da-REE-ya], Cheers!-наздраве- nazdrave [nah-zdrah-vay]. Sarmi is a shared Balkan dish made of a rice filling (that can have minced meat inside or remain vegetarian) wrapped in sour cabbage or vine leaves. It was interesting because in my head, soups = hot, you know? The marriage of scrambled eggs, peppers, tomatoes, and cheese in a frying pan yields a mouth-watering result. I don’t think I’ll specifically look for a Bulgarian restaurant after we leave. It’s a widely popular spread in the Balkans made of tomatoes, eggplant, and garlic. Banitsa reminds me of borek. Your email address will not be published. Big pieces of meat. [ee-mate lee yah-stee-yah bez may-so], Can I have this without meat?-Може ли това да е без месо? Of course when you order blind, it’s a hit and miss. Hiking Seven Rila Lakes in Bulgaria (Lots of Photos and Tips), Summiting Mt. A pastry type of snacks filled with cheese (and other ingredients depending on the region). Cheese with honey and walnut. Shopska salad is one of the most iconic Bulgarian dishes you can order. Gyuvetch: a hearty stew, traditionally made with beef but easily substituted with seasonal vegetables. To be honest, eating out in Bulgaria has been mostly a ‘miss’ for me. Nothing at all like what you’d think a chicken parmesan would be. Bulgarian cuisine shares many of the not-so-vegetarian-friendly characteristics with other Balkan and Eastern European Countries. I mean, it is supposed to be a salad, right? The word has a Persian origin and it translates, roughly, as “house of wine”. During our time in Bulgaria, eating out is always an adventure. Banitsa, I assume, uses sirene cheese and tends to be saltier. My second favorite? SO. Start the day with a banitsa – the cheese and egg-filled flaky pastry can also be sweet (apples and pumpkin are other typical fillings), but it’s very unlikely that it will contain meat. Bulgarians prefer to allow the natural flavors of the ingredients to blend together through slow-cooking, as opposed to adding extra herbs and spices. So the fish is always fresh. The two main types of cheese Bulgarians eat are Bulgarian feta cheese (white) and Bulgarian yellow cheese (similar to Gouda or Emmental). Your email address will not be published. The vine-leaf version is more often prepared without meat, but if you are a vegetarian, you’d better ask to be safe. It tastes like a liquified version of Greek tzaziki (link). Gyuveche, a special Bulgarian pot for cooking, can be ordered at almost every restaurant. If it’s summer and it’s hot, Bulgarians cool down by indulging in a bowl of tarator. How to Get an Australian Work and Holiday Visa for Americans, If you want to taste the best of Bulgarian vegetarian cuisine, here are the dishes you should order. But the joy when I do find a hit, when I discover a dish that I just LOVE, makes it all worth it. (Just FYI, this is not a guide on vegetarian Bulgarian food but instead a brain dump on our Bulgaria culinary experience.). Banitsa [Баница]: a popular filo pastry filled with layers of egg, crushed cheese (sirene and feta), and yogurt. So even though there’s plenty of hamburger and pizza joints, we always choose to go to a mehana. Cold soup? In Bulgaria, we ate a lot of bean soup. I was expecting something with more… vegetables? The most traditional kind is tripe soup. I am vegetarian-Аз съм вегетарианец – Az sam vegetarianetz  [ahz sim veh-geh-tar-ee-ah-nitz], I am vegan-Аз съм строг вегетарианец – Az sam strog vegetarianetz [ahz sim stroke veh-geh-tar-ee-ah-nitz], I do not eat meat or fish-Не ем мясо и рыба – Ne yam meso i riba [nee yem meso ee ree-ba], I eat fish-Аз ям риба – Az yam riba [ahz sim ree-ba], I eat eggs and cheese-Ям яйца и сирене – Yam yaitza i sirene [yim ya-it-za ee see-reen-ya], I do not eat eggs or cheese-Не ям яйца и сирене – Ne yam yaitza i sirene [nee yum yah-it-za ee see-reen-ya], Do you have any meals without meat?-Имате ли ястия без месо? It’s chopped tomatoes, cucumber, and olives. The dish is very similar to börek and many other variants across Europe. As in, what-animal-does-that-come-from big (on this trip I learned: pig knuckle is HUGE). It’s super cheap too. We’ve had stuffed mushrooms (stuffed with sirene) and stuffed peppers (stuffed with sirene) covered in batter and fried (pepper biurek). Notify me of follow-up comments by email. If it’s summer and it’s hot, Bulgarians cool down by indulging in a bowl of tarator. He’s also ordered “chicken parmesan” to have it served covered in pesto with a side of french fries. Bulgarians cook it with a local kind of mint called djodjen (джоджен), and although it may sometimes have pork or sausages added, it is more often meatless. So even when we know the names of common dishes in the Balkan (like cebabcici – grilled meat sausages), we wouldn’t recognize the word in cyrillic. haha I’ve found that lots of countries from that part of the world share dishes- and mostly claim them as their own! Best Stops On Highway 1 North of San Francisco, 9 Reasons Why We'd Move to Boulder (and 1 Reason Why We Won't), The Best of Iran, A Guide to the Best Places to Visit, Visiting Komodo Island and Island Hopping Around Flores, Camping at Darvaza Crater of Fire, Turkmenistan’s Gates of Hell. I think shakshuka is actually a Tunisian word! Bulgarians is big on grilled food. Even though they’re often made in house, it’s also available in jars. They have little ponds where they keep trouts and carp. It’s somewhat similar to ajvar. Covered in guess what? The most traditional kind is tripe soup. Stuffed and battered pepper or “pepper biurek” by Bean soup is a significant component of Bulgarian cuisine and is frequently on the table for lunch or dinner. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Sirene po Shopsky is probably one of my favorite Bulgarian traditional dishes though. Shopska salad is another traditional Bulgarian fare. However, it is also famous for its variety of soups, colorful salads and high-quality dairy products (sorry, vegans). It’s filling, it’s vegetarian friendly* (not sure what kind of broth is used though), and at 1-1.50 euros a bowl, it’s cheap. We stick with the less intimidating bean soup. Usually in the form of rakija (anise flavored alcohol) and vodka. Wherever it originated, it’s amazing, that’s for sure ? We’d eat it often with home made bread and it makes a great light but fulfilling meal. A special thanks to Daniela Dedelyanova for helping with translations and pronunciations, as well as for her hospitality as a hostess. I have no doubt there are other traditional vegetarian Bulgarian dishes that I would enjoy. Tarator. Different restaurants do their bean soup slightly differently. This site is a member of Amazon affiliates. This is another white cheese delicacy for your to-try list. Everywhere I look, everyone is gorging on meat. If you’re looking for a place to try vegetarian banitsas then Hlebar is the place.

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