Sunday, September 12, 2010

Българска Храна


In an effort to relive some of my favorite food memories, I tried my hand at making Bulgarian food in America.

I served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints from 2006-2008 to Bulgaria! It was the best experience of my life!  (Well, 2nd to marriage.)

Many people ask when I tell them I lived in Bulgaria, "What do they speak there?" I tell them, "Bulgarian." And then they feel stupid. But, don't worry, I didn't know either. Another question that is not asked, but I will answer today is, "What do they eat in Bulgaria?" I answer, "Bulgarian food." :)

Some of the most popular foods in Bulgaria are:

Мусака - Mousska (potato & meat cassarole)
Баница - Banitsa (cheese & egg pastry)
Кисло Мляко - Kislo Milyko (plain yogurt - don't give the Greeks the credit for this new yogurt and Kefir rage - it is from BULGARIA!!)
Шопска Салата - Shopska salad (tomato, cucumber, onion, & feta chopped salad)

I used to eat these foods daily. I grew to love them for their tastes as well as for the experience and memories created while eating them. 

While Bulgarian food is yummy, it's not the best food in the world. I reserve that title for French food! I have lived in France also and ate some of the best food I've ever had while there. Bulgarian food is fresh, simple and "comforting" - potatoes and meat kinda thing. Not a lot of strong flavor - they use simple spices like oregano. But it is very unique to Bulgaria!

In Bulgaria eating a great Bulgarian dish with Sister Mihaleva and Sister Larkin.
(Please ignore the fact that I am a little chubby in the face...I guess the food was really good.)

Today I tried my hand at making some homemade Bulgarian dishes. I made the Moussaka casserole and banitsa pastry. I wish I could say they were as delicious as the real deal, but I'll just be honest. They weren't. 

Even using the same ingredients, it just doesn't taste the same. Maybe it is the air - Bulgarian air must add more flavor to Bulgarian meals. The American air is messing everything up. Maybe it's the oven, or the milk or the fact that I have to use Feta cheese instead of real Bulgarian сирене (sirenae) cheese. Or perhaps it is the fact that I am just not in Bulgaria as a missionary anymore and life experience makes the food taste differently.

Whatever the case, it was still fun to make it and eat it, even if it didn't taste the same.

I am excited for the day I go back to Bulgaria and savor these homeland dishes once again.

my banista
my moussaka and banitsa
Real Bulgarian banista made by Sister Petrova - a real bulgarian! Sister Wakefield on the right - she could whip up a mean moussaka.
Through the months of July & August there are thousands of acres of full bloom sunflowers.


  1. THey look delish! Good work! Ha, our background is very cute:)

  2. Oh, Anne,reading your little comment about how much you loved the food in Bulgaria made me laugh so hard I got tears in my eyes (tears in my eyes seems to be a common theme with your blog). You are beautiful in every way, chubby in the face or not:)! Love you!

  3. Oh my word! I wanna eat some food now :)

  4. Um, I don't know how Hayley hasn't given me a billion updates about your blog. She LOVES blogs. I don't think she knew about yours. Two things, 1) I'm only calling you Annie and 2) Ukraine and Bulgaria are basically the same. Settle down actual people from those areas, but at least agree they are similar. We are roping H and T into a trip out that way. Sweet.

  5. Hi Anne! I've just recently found your blog (from DYT blog actually). I live in Ukraine, you probably know it's near Bulgaria. I really like you and all your sweet and wise family. I go to your church for English lessons here in Ukraine for a few years now. I adore you americans for your friendly attitude, simple lifestyle, easy-going nature, sense of humour. It really is very different from post-soviet countries! Best wishes!

  6. Anne, thank you so much for sharing this because it brought back memories for me (your blogs posts always seem to do that). When I was in the seventh grade, there was a girl in one of my classes that migrated from Bulgaria to America. She was my buddy in computer class, and we became fast friends. She invited me over to her house once, and I got to try Bulgarian food. It was Amazing!!! I absolutely loved it. We had Moussaka and some kind of soup type of dish that had meat and all kinds of vegetables in it. I cannot remember the name. But I still remember the smell and the way it tasted. It was absolutely delicious.