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Balkan Foods

Balkan foods are a delectable combination involving the traditional European flavours and the richness of Asian spices and aroma. The Balkans sit on the crossroads of the middle of Europe and Asia, and their good weather provides excellent conditions for a wide range of tasty dishes.

The Balkan foods of southern Europe and Asia are varied depending upon the historical, geographical, weather, cultural and religious factors. There are three main food culture areas: the Mediterranean, the continental plains, and the mountainous regions.

 

Here we focus on Balkan foods of Bulgaria located in southern Europe and the best way to enjoy a country's' culture is to be able to tour its culinary surface.

Due to its somewhat warm environment and diverse geographical location, Bulgaria provides a really good growing environment for an assortment of herbs, fruits and vegetables that are mainly organic and very healthy served with grilled meats. For those who are health conscious Bulgarians rarely mix meat and dairy together at mealtimes!

Famous for its rich selection of salads essential at each meal, Bulgarian cuisine is generally noted for the diversity and excellence of dairy food. A particular favoured ingredient in Bulgarian cuisine is the Bulgarian white brine cheese known as Sirene. It is the main ingredient in many salads, along with an assortment of pastries.

Bulgarian dishes feature also an assortment of hot and cold soups, a good example of a chilled soup being tarator. You can also find many unique Bulgarian breads and pastries such as banitsa.

Most Bulgarian dishes are oven cooked, steamed in the form of one pot stews. Deep-frying is not all that typical, but barbecuing or grilling- especially various kinds of meats, sausages and burgers - is very common. Pork meat is the most popular meat and a popular ingedient in the Bulgarian dishes of moussaka, gyuvetch, and baklava.

Chicken and fish are widely eaten and while beef is not as widespread, as most cows are bred for milk manufacturing rather than meat, veal is a natural result of this and it is available in many restaurant dishes. Bulgaria is an exporter of lamb with its own intake of the meat limited to traditional celebrations in the spring.

Traditionally Bulgarians eat an outstanding amount of yogurt per person every year. It is well-known in history for the creation of high quality yogurt, most famous for generating a distinctive variety of bacteria known as Lactobacillus bulgaricus in the production process. Bulgaria has been part of a region which has cultivated and consumed yogurt right from dating back 3000 BC.

Food and drink is enjoyed enormously amongst friends and family, and especially at celebrations and traditional events throughout the year in which the table will be fully laid with delicious dishes of Bulgarian Balkan foods.

The selection of Bulgarian wines and regional alcoholic beverages include Rakia, mastika and menta. It is common practice to enjoy these drinks accompanied with salads, cheese, flat sausage, grilled meats and fish. This is known as meze and is customary in many countries in this part of the world.

Neighbouring influence has been shared overtime with Bulgarian cooking methods, bringing a uniqueness and assortment to the Bulgarian table. There are an abundance of Balkan foods and culinary delights to enjoy in this wonderful land.