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Bulgarian foods glossary and food terms


Banitsa or Banitza: Bulgarian national dish made with phyllo pastry filled with cheese, spinach, pump-kin, meat or fish mixtures. May be shaped as square or round pies, or small twisted shapes. For New Year’s Day it contains small charms.

Bulgur Pilaf: dish made from rice browned in butter with onion and chopped calf’s liver. Broth is poured over to complete the cooking.

Guivech: an oven-baked stew.

Selska Tchorba: slightly sour soup made with lamb broth, rice, and celeriac.

Sharan Sawrehi: festive Bulgarian New Year’s dish and eaten on festive “meatless” days; a whole baked carp stuffed with rice and ground nuts, well seasoned, or with raisins, walnuts, and onions.

Shopska Salata: simple salad of layers of fresh greens and sliced tomatoes and cucumbers (or other fresh vegetables) sprinkled with walnuts and grated sirene cheese.

Sirene: fresh white goat’s cheese, similar to the Greek feta.

Slivovka, Slivova or Slivovitsa or Slivovitza: potent plum brandy.

Soupa: soup.

Tarator: Middle Eastern chilled soup of cucumbers and yogurt.

Taskebap: stew similar to a goulash, made of veal, tomatoes, and seasonings.

Tchorba or Chorba: sour soup made of any greens cooked in water and finished with a delicate sauce ofegg yolks and cream (or yogurt), flavored lightly with onion, garlic, salt, and pepper. The sourness is achieved with the addition of lemon juice, vinegar, or yogurt or sometimes sauerkraut juice added to taste.

Tokfozelek: delicious dish of strips of summer squash lightly cooked with butter, a little water, vinegar, sugar, and dill. Just before serving, the dish is blended with sour cream. Other vegetables and yogurt may be prepared in the same way.

Turlu Guivetch: basically a dish of stewed lamb to which a number of fresh cubed or sliced vegetables are added. The dish may be baked in the oven. Frequently served in soup plates with rice or pilaf.

Zelen Haiver: typical Middle Eastern appetizer of cooked, seasoned (much garlic and pepper) and pureed eggplant, which is spread flat on a large plate and eaten by dipping bread into it.

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