Type Here to Get Search Results !

7 Traditional Bulgarian Food You Must Try While in Plovdiv

If you move to Plovdiv or visit, you will definitely want to try traditional Bulgarian foods that are sure to make your stay more memorable. As an expat, you may not want to stick to a specific Bulgarian diet permanently, but at the same time you can't ignore some of the most traditional Bulgarian dishes that are enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. 

The most common questions asked on our contact page and via social media are related to food. Which foods should I try while I am in Plovdiv? Which Bulgarian dishes are popular? Which are the must-try foods in Plovdiv? What do the locals eat in Plovdiv? Etc... The list of the best food in Plovdiv or elsewhere in Bulgaria can be very very long. Nevertheless, there are some well-known traditional Bulgarian foods that everyone enjoys. If you want to learn about a country's culture, you should get a sense of it through its food. Here are the top 7 traditional foods you should try in Plovdiv which you can find easily at any restaurant or food outlet.

King of Bulgarian Breakfast: Banitsa (баница)

Banitsa is a traditional breakfast pastry that is popular throughout the country. In essence, it's a pastry that is filled with popular feta-like white cheese (sirene) and baked on greasy trays. It's made of several layers of filo dough with cheese between each layer then folded into desired shape as it can come in various shapes at different bakeries. You'll enjoy this quick and tasty solution for breakfast on the go. Bulgarians usually eat it with the thick fermented wheat drink called ''boza'' or coffee. Most bakeries in Plovdiv serve warm banitsa all day. Currently, a banitsa costs only 1.5 BGN. (0.90 USD, 0.65 GBP, 0.75 Euro) If you're on a budget or in a hurry, grab a banitsa first, then get any hot drink from a vending machine nearby, which will cost you only 2 Lev in total and help you save time. 

Juicy Grilled Meatball: Kebabche ( кебапче )

Kebabche is a long piece of grilled meatball seasoned with Bulgarian spices. This is a very affordable, filling, and delicious type of meatball that Bulgarians tend to enjoy with a cold beer. You can order it as a main course or as a side dish. A portion in a restaurant is usually served as three pieces with a generous amount of garnishes, such as chips, rice, salad, and sauces on the side. When consumed as a side dish, it can be purchased by an individual or by a couple. Minced beef and pork is usually used in making it, though it can also be made solely with pork. When you have meatballs like those around this geographical area, you shouldn't assume kebabche is the same. Kebabche is extremely juicy, delicious and at an inexpensive price. It can be bought in packaged form from big supermarket chains like Kaufland or Billa as raw or cooked. During your stay in Plovdiv, you can't avoid eating this traditional food if you are not vegan or vegetarian. 

Diverse Meatball of Bulgaria: Kyufte (кюфте)

Kyufte is another delicious meatball dish which is different from kebabche but is not any less popular. It can be made from beef mince, pork mince, or a mixture of both. Unlike kebabche, kyufte has chunks of onion pieces inside which get caramelized in the cooking process. Kyufte does not always need to be grilled like kebabche. Cooking it pan-fried or in a juicy stew with other vegetables or beans is also an option. It usually comes with bread and rice when served as a stew. If you choose panfried or grilled, it is usually served with salad and chips. If you prefer to cook it at home, it is also available from supermarkets and butchers. 

Bulgarian Flag's Colours in a Bowl: Shopska Salata (шопска салата)

It is a simple but very refreshing salad when done with seasonal ingredients. This popular salad matches well with Rakia, a strong alchololic national drink. Shopska Salad makes a great starter or a side dish for any main course. The main ingredients are cucumber, tomatoes, green peppers, white cheese (sirene) and red onion. If you pay attention to the details, those are the colors of the Bulgarian flag. This salad is served with grated white cheese and parsley on top. Beware of being fooled by its simplicity and assuming it is not worth a try. I'll let you decide whether the sirene cheese on top or the fine seasonal vegetables make it delicious. Since it contains very few ingredients and it is very easy to prepare, this salad is easy to make at home if you enjoy it. Although it's available in restaurants all year round, it's best enjoyed with seasonal ingredients in summer; juicy pink tomatoes, crunchy cucumber and pepper topped with full fat Sirene cheese. Easy to make and easy to find ingredients, this salad is usually found on Bulgarian families' tables almost every day.

Addictive Spread: Lyutenitsa (лютеница)

Lyutenitsa is a rich vegetable relish that Bulgarian kids adore. The sauce contains tomatoes, aubergines, carrots, red peppers, garlic, olive oil, salt, and sugar. With a little sirene cheese crumble, it's a healthy and tasty accompaniment to any toast. It's available in a variety of forms: smooth, chunky, mild or hot. It's not a restaurant food. Most of the time, this is only available in restaurants as a dip or garnish for other dishes. This dish is commonly made by people at home around September and October when red peppers hit the markets. Making it isn't so easy and takes up most of your day, but that doesn't stop people from doing it because they make large batches to last them for the entire year. Alternatively, you can purchase it in jars from the supermarket, but none of them are as tasty as home-made. Since it is popular nationwide, lots of commercial producers started to make it after 90's, but only very few brands can match the taste of home-made lyutenitsa. When you are in Plovdiv between September and October, you will notice the scent of roasted red peppers filling the air. 

Most Refreshing Summer Soup: Tarator (таратор)

Plovdiv experiences hot summers. Something to cool you down is definitely needed. Tarator comes in handy here. Tarator is a very simple, but utterly delicious summer soup widely consumed both in restaurants and in homes. It's made from cucumber, yoghurt, garlic, dill, water and vegetable oil. It's served chilled, or sometimes with ice cubes. Restaurants often garnish it with wallnuts. It's also very easy to prepare at home. You can make it thick or watery depending on your preference. In addition to being delicious and refreshing, tarator contains a very special ingredient: world famous Bulgarian yoghurt. With the unique bacteria present in their yogurt, Bulgaria produces the healthiest yogurt in Europe. Mildly sour yogurt is Bulgaria's heritage, and is still considered the best of all dairy products today. Over 400,000 tons of yogurt are consumed annually in the country. It is simply delicious. 

Rakia's Best Friend: Turshia (туршия)

In the past, due to the difficulty in preserving summer vegetables for the winter, Bulgarians used to pickle and preserve them into jars so they could be consumed during the winter months. Since then, it has been considered the best Bulgarian appetizer for winter months. Turshiya is made from cauliflower, red peppers, carrots, green peppers, green tomatoes, gherkins, and cabbage. The vegetables are pickled in vinegar, salt, and various spice mixtures, which usually include whole black peppercorns, garlic, and dill. Some families consider no meal complete without a bowl of turshia. Turshia is often made in large quantities in homes in the autumn, even in cities. As well as being sold by specialists and in supermarkets, it is also served in restaurants. Its most well-known traditional appetizer (meze) is consumed along with its strong national beverage, Rakia.

Which of the above have you tried so far? Do you have any thoughts to share? What is your favorite? Share with us down the comments section. This is a very short list of Bulgarian foods that you should try when visiting Plovdiv. In the near future, we'll cover other food types and beverages to try. Check back soon. Till then, enjoy these delicious foods.


Post a Comment

* Please Don't Spam Here. All the Comments are Reviewed by Admin.