Bulgaria’s extensive 1300-year history along with the presence of migrating tribes has made the cuisine of Bulgaria extremely diverse. Many of the daily meals include traditional dishes and customs.
Historically, Bulgarians have flavored stews, roasts, and boiled fresh vegetables with lots of garlic, onions, oils and spices in terracotta cookware. Roasting food on charcoal embers is also common, which leaves the meat tender and moist. During a Bulgaria cruise you will notice that many of the local meals almost always include meat, potatoes and cheese. Food tends to be spicy, filling and tasty. A wide variety of national dishes, such as cold yogurt soup with cucumbers, peppers or aubergines stuffed with meat, or kebabcheta (small, spicy, minced meat rolls) are popular. And many dishes also include influences of the neighboring countries of Turkey and Greece. Visitors will also find fruit is particularly delicious and inexpensive throughout the year.
There are plenty of places to try the local cuisine while on a trip to Bulgaria, with many attractive restaurants and cafes throughout the country. The main meal is eaten in the middle of the day. Dinner is a social occasion, with dancing enjoyed before and after the meal. A salad and a rakia (Bulgarian spirit/schnapps, usually made from grapes) traditionally precede a meal at a leisurely pace, lasting up to an hour. Desserts are not a strong focal point of Bulgarian cuisine, although cafes usually have a wide selection of pastries and cakes. Most restaurants offer only pancakes or crème caramel.
Ayran, a beverage of yogurt and water, is drunk by Bulgarians on a daily basis. Heavily sweetened coffee is also particularly popular. Many drinks are also made from infusions of mountain herbs and dried leaves, particularly lime.
Bulgaria offers excellent, world-famous red and white wines that are not only superb but inexpensive as well. Sample the large variety of wines during your Bulgaria cruise. White wines include Evksinograde, Karlouski Misket and Tamianka. Heavy red wines include Mavroud and Trakia. Liquors include the rather potent mastika and rakia (grape or brandy). Bulgarian beers have recently gained popularity and are much cheaper than imported beers.
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