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