Brief History of Bulgarian Cuisine.
Bulgaria has been inhabited for thousands of years. It wasn’t however, until man began to change from ‘hunter gatherer’ to ‘farmer’ that the biggest changes in history were made. Much of what we know and enjoy in the culinary world today comes from this spreading change known as, the Neolithic period.
There is evidence of agricultural farming in Bulgaria about 6000 years BC which had spread from its origins in Syria and Iraq between 11000 BC and 9000 BC.
By the bronze age 1800 BC the Slavic Bulgarians were seasoned farmers. Breeding livestock and cultivating vegetables was sustainable as was the growing of grain crops.
Breads were made from the wheat and rye grain. The production of cheese and yogurt from the livestock was also added to the daily menu. Fruit was abundant as too were herbs which were added to dishes to give different flavours.
Influenced by the Thracian’s of this period the cultivation of vines and the making of wine was also introduced thus paving the way for today’s Bulgarian cuisine.
Bulgarian Cuisine and Recipes
Influences on Bulgarian cuisine
Over the centuries Bulgarian food has been influenced by it history, location and climate. Bulgaria was occupied by the Ottoman empire for 500 years and so a touch of Asia can be found in the menus. So too the taste of the Mediterranean with Greece bordering the South of Bulgaria.
Long slow cooking was the method for the many stewed dishes of Bulgarian cuisine. Vegetables grown through the year would be preserved in jars for the winter months when meat dishes would be often eaten and vegetables were scarce.
The summers are long and yield good fruit, fresh salads and vegetables with a taste that beats any other.
In the villages around Bulgaria today the practice of making home made cheeses and yogurt still continues. So too the preserving of the many vegetables grown in nearly every garden. Bulgaria has adopted its historical influences and made it her own distinct style of cuisine.