Bulgarian cuisine: An Overview
Bulgarian cuisine is a reflection of the country’s diverse cultural history, with influences from the Balkans, the Mediterranean, and Eastern Europe. Traditional Bulgarian cuisine features a range of hearty meat dishes, such as kebapche (grilled minced meat), kavarma (stewed meat and vegetables), and banitsa (a pastry filled with cheese and eggs). Dairy products, bread, and vegetables also play a significant role in Bulgarian cuisine.
Vegetarianism on the Rise in Bulgaria
In recent years, vegetarianism has been on the rise in Bulgaria, with more people opting for plant-based diets for health, ethical, environmental, or religious reasons. According to a survey conducted in 2018 by the Bulgarian Vegan Society, there are around 30,000 vegans and vegetarians in Bulgaria, and the number is growing. This trend has led to an increased demand for vegetarian options in restaurants and shops, and more awareness of the benefits of a plant-based diet.
Vegetarian Options in Bulgarian Cuisine: A Review
While Bulgarian cuisine is known for its meat dishes, there are also many vegetarian options available. Some traditional Bulgarian dishes that are naturally vegetarian include shopska salad (a mix of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, onions, and cheese), tarator (a cold soup made of yogurt, cucumber, garlic, and dill), and lyutenitsa (a spread made of roasted peppers, tomatoes, and spices). Many meat dishes can also be adapted to be vegetarian, such as stuffed peppers or cabbage leaves filled with rice and vegetables instead of meat.
Vegetarian restaurants and cafes are also becoming more common in Bulgaria’s cities, offering a range of plant-based dishes inspired by Bulgarian and international cuisine. Some popular vegetarian restaurants include Soul Kitchen in Sofia, with a menu featuring vegan burgers, falafel, and quinoa bowls, and Sun Moon in Plovdiv, with a selection of vegetarian and vegan dishes made with local and organic ingredients. Overall, while Bulgarian cuisine may have a meat-heavy reputation, there are plenty of vegetarian options available for those seeking a plant-based diet.