Although in recent years Bulgaria, and Plovdiv in particular, has rapidly gained momentum as one of the most preferred destinations in Europe, there are still many things here that genuinely baffle tourists.
And while we all know about how we’ve switched the nodding and shaking of your head and how sometimes "no" means "yes", today the team of the only bilingual digital guide under the hills dwells on the peculiarities of Bulgarian cuisine and its specific tastes. Traditionally, it is rich in spices, aromatic and very delicious, but there are a few foods that genuinely baffle foreigners and opinions about them are really mixed.
Banitsa with boza may be one of the most popular breakfasts in our country, but the popular drink proves to be a real challenge for everyone coming to the country. It is believed that it was carried around the countries of the Balkan Peninsula from Albania. It is characterized by a sweet taste and is prepared from different types of ground cereals. In Bulgaria, the town of Radomir was known as a center for the production of boza in the beginning of the 20th century. The world's only monument to the boza producer was erected there. Another town famous for the production of quality boza is Lyubimets.
Today, however, you can find it in fewer and fewer places, and even Bulgarians don't consume it that often. At the first sip on the part of foreigners, the reaction is most often negative, with sincere surprise and even disgust. It rarely becomes their favorite drink.
Tripe soup is emblematic of Bulgarian cuisine, although the word shkembe itself is Persian. Cooking it requires not just putting different ingredients, but real craftsmanship. It is prepared from beef, lamb or pork stomach, but they are never combined with each other. A broth of vegetables is also prepared, and tradition dictates that the soup be served and consumed with vinegar, garlic and hot pepper or peppers.
The fact is that there are not many places under the hills where you can enjoy the truly warming dish, which is often used as a hangover cure, but we have a special text dedicated to them.
Gentlemen like it more, but then again, it's not the kind of thing that makes you fall in love with it from the first spoonful.
We use it as a cold soup option in the warmer months or as a drink. It is not typical only for Bulgaria, as there are similar recipes in Greece (Tzatziki), Turkey (Cacik), Iran (Mast-o Khiar) and others.
For foreigners, the strangest thing is its combination with different types of dishes such as moussaka, stew, etc., but in general, although strange, they find it delicious and refreshing!
Another hot soup, which, like tripe, seems rather strange to tourists. It is prepared from a pig's head, feet and tail, and sometimes ears. All this, however, takes a lot of time and unfortunately, the restaurants where you can try it aren’t many, especially under the hills.
The bumbar was mentioned more than 100 years ago, and the older generation certainly remembers the iconic Bumbar pub. Memories "say" that even visitors from Australia traveled, intoxicated by the glory of the Philibelian specialty. It is prepared mostly in autumn and winter, but now in fewer and fewer places, some of which we have collected in an article about traditional Plovdiv cuisine. We are not sure if this would be the first choice for those who came to walk under the hills, but we know that it will be something unusual and new for them!
We have also included some of the mentioned foods and drinks in the traditional recipes that are a must-try, but still – be prepared that they will not appeal to every taste.
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