Bulgarian gastronomy and wine

In a  previous post, we talked about the importance of local gastronomy when searching for the perfect wine&food match. In order to fully appreciate Bulgarian wine and especially wines from indigenous grapes as Mavrud, the “perfect match” should be found within the local gastronomy.

In wine and food pairing we take into consideration components of taste (sweet, salty,acid, spicy etc) which influence and interact with the characteristics of the various types of wine.

Bulgarian traditional cuisine

Bulgarian traditional cuisine can be described as rather tasteful and  rustic, connected to Balkan, Turkish and Greek cuisine. Spices are largely used, especially paprika, savory, oregano, fenugreek etc.

Quite popular are soups, vegetable and meat dishes, especially pork and lamp. Diary products are well represented,  cheeses as well as the famous Bulgarian yogurt,  which can be consumed alone or as a condiment. Even though the country has access to the Black Sea, fish dishes have small space in traditional cuisine.

The “strong dishes”

We can define them ” strong” not only because of their typicity, but also because of their “strong” taste. Among the soups we can mention the Tarator (cold soup based on yogurt, cucumbers, garlic, parsil and nuts) and the Shkembe Chorba, a milk soup made from lamp’s stomach cooked with vinegar and garlic,  heritage from the ottoman period.

Other traditional dishes are Shishcheta, made from grilled meat,  Kapama , made from three types of meat , rice, fermented cabbage and spices slowly cooked in a clay pot,  Sarmi (rolls of rice and meat in vine or cabbage leaves).
Few words a part deserve the cheeses from which the most popular are Sirene, traditional white cheese and Kaskaval, a yellow cheese generally more aged, both can be from cow or sheep milk. Particularly interesting is the so-called Green Cheese from Cherni Vit, a naturally molded sheep cheese with a distinctive taste. The most emblematic Bulgarian dish remains though the Banitza, which is made from filo pastry, eggs and cheese and can be consumed alone or with yogurt.

Wine and food matches

With such an aromatic and flavourful cuisine are required wines that can support, and in a certain sense also ” contrast” the strong tastes of the food in order to achieve balance and harmony. With soups and flavourful vegetable dishes are recommended young red wines, fresh and fragrant. A good match could be for example Ares Neragora, a blend of Mavrud and Merlot.

Rich red wines, suitable for long ageing as Mavrud Neragora are instead a good match with meat dishes and aged cheeses.

So feel welcome to try these wine and food pairings during your next journey in Bulgaria or in some international restaurant! Have you ever tried similar matches? Tell us about your experience!

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