Fairly priced, ready-to-eat and with an unmistakable native flavour, road food is ubiquitous round Bulgaria and the Balkans. Actually, snacks is perhaps the good introduction to the glories of Balkan food and Bulgarian delicacies in specific! Street food is obtainable nearly all over the place round the area, and in fact notably so in the cities and in main vacationer locations. So no want to fret whereas you’re exploring this enchanting nook of south-eastern Europe: you’re assured an enormous selection of scrumptious oriental finger food in-between meals!
Basic Balkan and Bulgarian road food has been closely influenced by the centuries of Ottoman rule, so its style will typically remind you of Turkey and its wealthy culinary custom – however all the time with an area twist relying on the nation and area, the native local weather and customs. And like virtually all over the place, you’re more likely to discover native variations of Western road meals like pizza, hamburgers, doughnuts and sandwiches in the Balkans too – however you’d be stunned how totally different these may be from the originals typically!
From the world’s favorite late-night wrap to seeds as addictive as exhausting medicine, kashkaval vacationer presents road food in Bulgaria and the Balkans: 8 regional snacks you must try!
1. World-famous meat cone: döner and gyros
Whether or not you name it döner, gyros or shawarma, that is maybe the most acknowledged road food to return out of this a part of the world. 🥙 Originating in 19th-century Ottoman Anatolia, döner kebab is now omnipresent in all Balkan nations – and it has expanded all through Europe and past, conquering principally the whole world! This heavenly combo of seasoned meat (hen, beef or lamb), slow-roasted as a humongous cone on a rotating vertical spit and then wrapped in bread with some salad and sauce, is a whole meal in itself.
In Bulgaria, dyuner (дюнер) is usually bought by Turkish or Arabic immigrants, although it options some sometimes native quirks too. A Bulgarian dyuner will typically be full of French fries, which is a rarity in different locations, and it’ll all the time be served wrapped in mushy, skinny flatbread, by no means as a sandwich. Hen is by far the hottest selection and beef is to be discovered in the extra revered döner joints, although lamb is a real rarity. The Greek model gyros can also be fairly beloved: it’s notable for its thicker bread and notably for providing pork as an choice.
- Commonplace worth in Bulgaria: Three-5 BGN (1.5-2.5 €)
2. Breakfast besties: börek, burek and banitsa
Generally known as börek in Turkey, burek all through former Yugoslavia and banitsa in Bulgaria, this flaky crammed pastry is an absolute hit all through the Balkans, be it as a breakfast staple or as a late-night snack. Ready of a number of sheets of tremendous skinny filo dough, this piece of baked deliciousness 😌 is often crammed with numerous components. In Bulgaria, the quintessential road banitsa consists of sirene (white cheese) and/or curd. In former Yugoslavia, burek is extra generally crammed with floor meat.
As a quick food, banitsa is bought by small bakeries that you can discover on virtually each busy road nook. Along with this layered Balkan specialty, these bakeries additionally promote different native pastries and some Western-inspired varieties like strudel (which, in Bulgaria, is usually principally a candy banitsa with an apple flavour). In japanese Bulgaria and the Turkish-populated areas, bakeries additionally supply gözleme, a associated crammed pastry, which in contrast to börek is unleavened and cooked on a griddle.
- Normal worth in Bulgaria: 1-2 BGN (Zero.5-1 €)
Three. Seasonal fruits of the land: corn on the cob, chestnuts, pumpkin
Some snacks are solely obtainable throughout a part of the yr, which makes them extremely fashionable throughout that point. In Bulgaria, boiled or roasted corn on the cob 🌽 seasoned with salt and butter is an absolute summer time staple, particularly on the Black Beach. Curiously, boiled corn is bought by enviably tanned hawkers who spend their days strolling from one finish of the seashore to the different, creatively evaluating their product to Pamela Anderson’s nipples or hailing it as “gymnastics for the mouth”!
A couple of months later in autumn, temperatures could be dropping, however nature has fortunately introduced two different quick food favourites to the streets of the Balkans. Roasted pumpkin 🎃 (ideally with honey, cinnamon and walnuts!) is usually bought by the kilo by little nut outlets all through city. And distributors promote heat and engaging roasted chestnuts as a classy autumn snack too! 🌰
- Normal worth in Bulgaria: 1-2 BGN (Zero.5-1 €)
four. Ciao, Italia: Balkan-style pizza by the slice
Positive, pizza is initially Italian, however some Italians may need a tough time recognizing the style they know from their childhood when making an attempt pizza by the slice in the Balkans! Like banitsa and the comparable filo pastries, pizza 🍕 is bought by take-away pizza cubicles which are seemingly in all places in Bulgarian cities. These large pizzas with ten or twelve single-portion triangular slices aren’t often baked in Italian-style wood-fired brick ovens, for sure. And typical Italian components like mozzarella and ham are sometimes substituted with sirene and kashkaval cheese and lukanka salami. All these modifications render the pizza a sometimes native flavour and Balkan pizza by the slice is certainly a scrumptious and well-liked road food – simply overlook about any comparisons with the unique!
In fact, if you’re eager for a real Neapolitan pizza, there’s sufficient top-notch Italian eating places round the Balkans to fulfill your cravings. And in south-eastern European nations subsequent to Italy like Croatia and Slovenia, the style of pizza by the slice also needs to be considerably extra genuine.
- Normal worth in Bulgaria: 1.50-2.50 BGN (Zero.75-1.25 €)
5. Sesame-covered wreath of crispiness: gevrek and simit
The Balkans and the Center East’s equal to bagels, the spherical breads gevrek and simit are one other widespread sight in the cities of the area. In Turkey, they’ve turn out to be considerably of a logo of the working class and there, having fun with a simit together with a pear-shaped glass of aromatic black tea is a time-honoured custom. Street distributors carry scorching gevreks in a trolley and even in a trey on their heads and promote their items loudly. In Bulgaria, it’s most frequently previous women 👵 who promote gevreks on the road in the morning, sometimes out of a trolley.
Relying on the recipe, gevrek and simit may also be briefly boiled earlier than being baked, making them doughy and chewy fairly than crispy. The crust is usually coated with sesame, poppy or flax seeds, although that’s not a must.
- Normal worth in Bulgaria: Zero.50-1 BGN (Zero.25-Zero.50 €)
6. Baked sandwich royalty: printsesa
A uniquely Bulgarian invention, this heat open sandwich selection has been bizarrely named printsesa (принцеса), or “princess” 👸 as you may need guessed! Its identify has develop into the stuff of legends, with extremely implausible explanations linking it to medieval Bulgarian rulers and historic Thracian monarchs. Might it have been simply the golden color of the melted kashkaval cheese that impressed it?
No matter printsesa’s origin, this sandwich is a beloved Bulgarian quick food. Principally a single slice of white bread topped with a mixture of eggs and yellow kashkaval cheese (and optionally with minced meat or lukanka salami), printsesa is then baked till it acquires its trademark golden color and the bread turns into crunchy toast.
- Commonplace worth in Bulgaria: 1.50-Three.00 BGN (Zero.75-1.50 €)
7. Of previous women and soccer hooligans: sunflower seeds
Although nuts are a well-liked snack throughout the world, Japanese Europe and the Balkans appear to have a specific obsession with sunflower seeds. 🌻 Roasted with the shells, then coated with a little bit of salt and flour, these little issues are so addictive to crack open together with your tooth that they’ve been jokingly in comparison with heroin!
In 1990s Bulgaria, the onerous drug sunflower seed commerce was the area of previous women who would roast them themselves and then wrap them in newsprint paper cones. These days, sunflower seeds stay the most popular stadium food for these uninteresting Bulgarian league video games in derelict socialist-era soccer grounds. And although they’re often bought pre-packaged today, certainly one of the largest manufacturers has a mock newspaper package deal and a reputation that evokes soccer hooligans!
- Normal worth in Bulgaria: beneath 1.00 BGN (Zero.50 €)
8. Barbecued meat galore: Balkan grill
Barbecue is a serious a part of Balkan delicacies and culinary tradition, so unsurprisingly, grilled meat 🍖 is a vital element of regional road food in all nations in the area, be it Turkish mangal, Bulgarian skara (скара) or ex-Yugoslav roštilj. As a snack, barbecued meat is often served in bread, with fries or with veggies. Typical condiments embrace the spicy lyutenitsa relish in Bulgaria and the tacky kajmak and urnebes spreads in southern Serbia.
The preferred grilled road meals range by nation, however Bulgarian kebapche, ex-Yugoslav pljeskavica (primarily a Balkan-style burger patty) and Turkish kokoreç (grilled intestines) are a few of the regional highlights. Southern Serbia is understood for a very robust barbecue custom and the city of Leskovac counts as a one thing of a barbecue capital – it even hosts the annual Roštiljijada worldwide grill pageant, a real road food extravaganza.
- Normal worth in Bulgaria (kebapche sandwich): 1.50-Three BGN (Zero.75-1.50 €)