BULGARIA DREAM AREA CONFERENCE 2002

About Bulgaria - ICN

Style of Life
More than half of the Bulgarian population lives in towns as a result of the intensive migration processes in the recent decades. The basic part of the inhabitants (88 %) are Bulgarians - a nationality formed through the amalgamation of Slavs, Proto-Bulgarians and Thracians. Bulgarian Turks, Jews, Armenians, Gypsies and other ethnic groups also live in the country.
At present the Bulgarian family has one or two, rarely more children. Children go to creches and kindergartens because most women go to work. In smaller settlements families live mainly in family owned houses amidst smaller or bigger yards, while in towns they live in apartments in blocks of flats. The number of state owned lodgings is comparatively small, as the Bulgarians traditionally value private property.
Basic meals:
- Breakfast - tea, milk, coffee, bread and butter, white cheese, yellow cheese, cold cuts, fruit preserves
- Lunch - soup, main dish, salad (pickled vegetables), dessert (fruits)
- Supper - hors d'oeuvre, main dish, dessert (fruits)

Bulgarian national cuisine:
The typical Bulgarian dishes are tasty, spicy, savoury, and rich in vitamins. These are prepared with many vegetables and spices, various kinds of meat, including game and fish.
Widely popular for its taste, nourishing and curative properties is the Bulgarian yoghurt, a product resulting from the action of bacteria (Lactobacterium bulgaricum) characteristic of Bulgaria.
We suggest that you taste: shopska salata (cut into pieces fresh tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and onions with grated white cheese), tarator (cold yoghurt and chopped cucumber soup, spiced with garlic, dill and crushed walnuts), kyopoolou (hors d'oeuvre of mashed baked aubergines, spiced with garlic, parsley, vinegar and sunflower oil), kebapcheta (grilled oblong rissoles of minced meat with spices), lozovi sarmi (vine leaves stuffed with minced meat with rice and spices), pulneni choushki (peppers stuffed with minced meat with rice and spices), gyuvech (hotch-potch) - a dish of vegetables and meat baked in an earthenware pot, cheverme (a lamb or a sheep, or big pieces of meat baked on a rotating spit), banitsa (baked thin sheets of pastry with a filling of white cheese and eggs or vegetables), sirene (white brined cheese), balkanski kashkaval (yellow cheese), lukanka (flat sausage with numerous spices), soudzhouk and, of course, Bulgarian yoghurt.
Alcoholic drinks:
Famous for their quality are the Bulgarian white and red wines "Cabernet", "Gumza", "Trakia", "Melnik", "Misket", "Dimyat", "Tamyanka", "Riesling", "Aligote", "Chardonet", "Merlot" and others.
The typical Bulgarian alcoholic drink is rakiya which is manufactured through distillation of fermented grapes, plums or other fruits. Its alcoholic content is 36-55o. Good quality brandies are "Pliska", "Veliki Preslav", "Pomorie" and the anise-flavoured brandy.
Mineral water:
One can find bottled mineral water from the mineral springs of Gorna Banya, Hisarya, Mihalkovo, Merichleri, Nevestino.
Soft drinks:
There is a wide variety of fruit juices, nectars, soda drinks - Bulgarian, as well as imported. Typical Bulgarian cooling drink is buttermilk - yoghurt diluted with water.