Very often when I start talking about food some of my friends ask me “…and what about the cuisine in your home country, Bulgaria? What is it like?”. And then I actually imagine a picture like the one I took this summer when friends in the countryside asked me last minute to join them for dinner: fresh, colourful, and inviting.
A table at a Bulgarian home in the summer/autumn season is always full with fresh produce (either from the own garden, the friendly neighbour, or from the market). Veggies are always present: tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers – mostly grilled and peeled – and last but not least their eternal partner, the white feta cheese. And the most famous Bulgarian dish, without any doubt, is the shopska salad, where all of the above ingredients are mixed and the cheese is grated on the top – a snow-topping of a winter mountain landscape.
Meatballs are another common guest on the table. Minced meat is mixed with onions and spices; the balls can be either grilled or fried. By the way Bulgarians are real fruit-addicts, even more in the summer months! Did you know that watermelon slices, fresh prunes, or peaches (actually lots of fruits) pair fantastically with salty flavours? Give it a try and you might be surprised.
Finally a good sip of homemade brandy (from apricots, prunes, or berries) is what fits perfectly with the food and rounds up the whole experience and of course guarantees an inspiring talk.