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A Bulgarian Tradition - Banitsa

A Bulgarian national tradition is banitsa that tends to be found on the breakfast menu but is typically consumed all day long.

The ingredients are simple: filo pastry, eggs and feta cheese. Whether or not you can cook banitsa, you can give the false impression that you can. That's fortunate because since the old days, it was said that mothers would select a new bride for their son based on the girl's banitsa skills.

This pastry comes with centuries of traditions, like Bulgaria itself, a small country established in 681 A.D. and located between Greece and the Black Sea. You can also find many variations of banitsa, depending on the region, but one thing that is consistent is that it always respects life's best parts: Christenings, weddings, traditional celebrations, Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.

On the 31st of December, the head of the table is the banitsa. It is made a little different to predict the events of the next 12 months. On small notes of paper fortunes are wrote for each person who will eat a portion. Most consist of: you will get married next year, a new baby, you will travel, you will take out the rubbish!

The fortunes are wrapped in foil and put in the banitsa mix and then cooked. Everyone attending will choose a portion and find his or her luck for the next year.

At weddings, banitsa chooses out of the bride or groom who will be the leader of the family. Standing back to back, the newly married couple will hold the banitsa over their heads, then break it and who gets the biggest portion will guide the family.

Banitsa is often consumed with yogurt. Bulgarians are big on yogurt because the micro-organism it is made with, lactobacillus bulgaricus, can make some greatest quality yogurt in the world.