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Bulgarian National Cuisine
Печатно издание
ISBN
954-529-218-2
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5.00 лв.
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Жечка Георгиева
Дата на издаване
01 февруари 2003

Bulgarian National Cuisine

This book has been awarded with the distinction “Best Book About Regional Cuisine” given by the prestigious International Foundation “Gurman” with a head office in Madrid.

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Раймонд Вагенщайн е работил 15 години като кинокритик, журналист и киносценарист. Автор е на няколкостотин статии и рецензии. От 1990 г. е управител на издателство „Колибри“. Директор е на Международния панаир на книгата в София.

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The great Bulgarian poet Petko R. Slaveikov was the first to write in 1874 a history of Bulgarian cuisine in his Cookbook or Instructions for All Sorts of Meals According to the Way They Are Prepared in Constantinople and Various Household Advice.
The very title of the book is an indication of the main source of influence in the Bulgarian cuisine, namely that of Turkish and Oriental cuisine. It comes as a direct result of the five centuries of Turkish domination over the lands of present-day Bulgaria.
But long before the Turks came to the Balkans, the lands of Bulgaria were inhabited by Thracian tribes, then (in the 6th and early 7th centuries A.D.) by Slav tribes and still later by protoBulgarians (7th century A.D.) The specific crossroad geographic location is the reason why some 30 different nationalities have crossed the lands of the Bulgarians, each of them leaving its trace on the Bulgarian cuisine. The influence of the Turkish and Arab cuisines can be found in the kebabs, kavarmas, gyuveches (gyuvech means earthenware vessel, but the dishes cooked in it are also called gyuvech) and in the heavy sweets like baklava, Turkish delight, halva. Many of the terms have been borrowed for the Turkish language: mezé (appetizer), sudjuk (dry sausage), sarma (meat and rice wrapped in cabbage or vine leaves), ayran (watered yoghurt, very refreshing on a hot summer day), kyopoolu (eggplant salad) to mention just a few. We share a lot of meals with the Greeks, like the identical manner of wrapping meat and rice in grape leaves, some moussakas, sieved yoghurt with minced cucumber, garlic and walnuts. After Bulgaria was liberated from the Turks late in the 19th century, its cuisine was influenced by many European cuisines like the French (many terms were adopted like dessert, menu, omelet, soup, melba, garniture, pane, sauce), the Italian (salami, salza), the German and Austrian-Hungarian (leberwurst, leberkese, schnitzel, strudel, goulash). Russian culinary terms are also in use: (borscht). The influence of the Eastern Orthodox Christian religion on the Bulgarian cuisine is of the greatest importance.

Many meals are prepared especially for religious holidays: sweet spicy breads (kozounak) for Easter, baked whole lamb for St. George’s Day, stuffed baked carp for St. Nicholas Day, a meatless menu for Christmas Eve to mark the last day of Lent (rice stuffed in cabbage leaves, vine leaves and peppers, beans, stewed dried fruit). The Bulgarian national cuisine used to depend heavily on the season: vegetables and fruit in summer and springtime, meat during the winter, but this seasonal dependence has disappeared in the past decades. Traditionally the Bulgarians store pickled vegetables for the long winter, each family according to grandma’s recipe. The typical Bulgarian spices are fresh dill, mint, savory, thyme, hogweed, parsley, paprika. Onions and garlic are also used widely. The meals usually simmer on very low heat. As a rule, before taking a meal Bulgarians drink an aperitif: a strong alcoholic drink (most probably grape brandy), taken with a salad. They also drink plum brandy and in summer a popular drink is mastika (strong anise-flavoured brandy which turns milky-white when water is added). The Bulgarian wines are really good. The best white wines are Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc, Traminner, Muskat. The best red wines are Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. As can be judged by the names, many of the grape varieties have been imported from France. Unique to Bulgaria are the Mavroud grapes, grown in some Thracian regions, and the Wide Melnik Vine from the southernmost regions of Bulgaria. The Bulgarian light beers are also of remarkably good quality.
Present-day Bulgarian cuisine is an interesting medley of various influences. We offer here some typical and easy to cook traditional recipes.

The great Bulgarian poet Petko R. Slaveikov was the first to write in 1874 a history of Bulgarian cuisine in his Cookbook or Instructions for All Sorts of Meals According to the Way They Are Prepared in Constantinople and Various Household Advice.
The very title of the book is an indication of the main source of influence in the Bulgarian cuisine, namely that of Turkish and Oriental cuisine. It comes as a direct result of the five centuries of Turkish domination over the lands of present-day Bulgaria.
But long before the Turks came to the Balkans, the lands of Bulgaria were inhabited by Thracian tribes, then (in the 6th and early 7th centuries A.D.) by Slav tribes and still later by protoBulgarians (7th century A.D.) The specific crossroad geographic location is the reason why some 30 different nationalities have crossed the lands of the Bulgarians, each of them leaving its trace on the Bulgarian cuisine. The influence of the Turkish and Arab cuisines can be found in the kebabs, kavarmas, gyuveches (gyuvech means earthenware vessel, but the dishes cooked in it are also called gyuvech) and in the heavy sweets like baklava, Turkish delight, halva. Many of the terms have been borrowed for the Turkish language: mezé (appetizer), sudjuk (dry sausage), sarma (meat and rice wrapped in cabbage or vine leaves), ayran (watered yoghurt, very refreshing on a hot summer day), kyopoolu (eggplant salad) to mention just a few. We share a lot of meals with the Greeks, like the identical manner of wrapping meat and rice in grape leaves, some moussakas, sieved yoghurt with minced cucumber, garlic and walnuts. After Bulgaria was liberated from the Turks late in the 19th century, its cuisine was influenced by many European cuisines like the French (many terms were adopted like dessert, menu, omelet, soup, melba, garniture, pane, sauce), the Italian (salami, salza), the German and Austrian-Hungarian (leberwurst, leberkese, schnitzel, strudel, goulash). Russian culinary terms are also in use: (borscht). The influence of the Eastern Orthodox Christian religion on the Bulgarian cuisine is of the greatest importance.

Many meals are prepared especially for religious holidays: sweet spicy breads (kozounak) for Easter, baked whole lamb for St. George’s Day, stuffed baked carp for St. Nicholas Day, a meatless menu for Christmas Eve to mark the last day of Lent (rice stuffed in cabbage leaves, vine leaves and peppers, beans, stewed dried fruit). The Bulgarian national cuisine used to depend heavily on the season: vegetables and fruit in summer and springtime, meat during the winter, but this seasonal dependence has disappeared in the past decades. Traditionally the Bulgarians store pickled vegetables for the long winter, each family according to grandma’s recipe. The typical Bulgarian spices are fresh dill, mint, savory, thyme, hogweed, parsley, paprika. Onions and garlic are also used widely. The meals usually simmer on very low heat. As a rule, before taking a meal Bulgarians drink an aperitif: a strong alcoholic drink (most probably grape brandy), taken with a salad. They also drink plum brandy and in summer a popular drink is mastika (strong anise-flavoured brandy which turns milky-white when water is added). The Bulgarian wines are really good. The best white wines are Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc, Traminner, Muskat. The best red wines are Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. As can be judged by the names, many of the grape varieties have been imported from France. Unique to Bulgaria are the Mavroud grapes, grown in some Thracian regions, and the Wide Melnik Vine from the southernmost regions of Bulgaria. The Bulgarian light beers are also of remarkably good quality.
Present-day Bulgarian cuisine is an interesting medley of various influences. We offer here some typical and easy to cook traditional recipes.

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ISBN
954-529-218-2
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