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Bulgarian Lukanka - A Spicy Delicacy

Bulgarian Lukanka is a type of dried sausage and similar to a spicy, strong flavoured salami and very common in the Bulgarian cuisine. It is a flat, raw dried pressed meat product, with reddish brown colour, evenly coated with a white mould/fungus powder from the outside. Inside the lukanka has a grainy texture from a mixture of ground meat and fat.


Traditionally, Bulgarian lukanka is prepared from a mixture of pork, beef and spices (black pepper, cumin and salt) that are stuffed into beef intestine. In the industrial manufacturing process artificial sausage casings are used. There are other variants of pork or veal. Drying and maturation of lukanka takes 20 to no more than 30 days, under strictly controlled temperature, humidity and air speed. In the drying process, the lukanka is pressed from 2 to 5 times, and the first pressing takes place between the 6th and the 8th day and lasts between 12 and 24 hours. The purpose is to produce its typical flattened shape. Bulgarian lukanka is served cold and thinly sliced as an apetizer or starter, (or meze in Bulgaria which is a snack served with an alcoholic beverage and Bulgarian lukanka goes very well with a glass of beer).

The qualities of lukanka depend on natural features of the area of production and are formed under the influence of the geographical environment and flora. In Bulgaria there are several regions well known for lukanka production - the regions of Smyadovo, panagyurishte and karlovo. "Karlovo lukanka" is registered as a designation of origin in the Bulgarian Patent Office.


Sudjuk is another similar type of flat sausage formed into the shape of a horseshoe, traditionally called pudding. It is a raw cured meat and extremely popular in the Bulgarian diet. It is made from beef, or pork meat, fat, slat, pepper, cumin, sugar, sliced sausage and Potassium nitrate (a food preservative for curing commonly known as saltpetre).The minced meat is then used to fill natural casings and tied together at the ends with strong thread. It is traditionally shaped into a horseshoe shape and pressed before being hung to mature and dry. Different spices are used according to the region for example Bansko pudding uses local ingredients cumin, fenugreek and savoury.

Certainly when visiting Bulgaria you will come across a huge selection of these types of dried meats in all food shops. So don't miss the chance to sample either the sudjuk or the Bulgarian Lukanka, and it is extra tasty with a glass of beer!