Gourmets have long since esteemed the merits of Bulgarian cuisine with the verdict that it is tasty, spicy and varied, appealing to one and all. Indeed, who would not like the abundance of fresh vegetables and fruits, juicy meat, grilled or served with piquant sauces, mouth-watering vegetarian dishes, simmered slowly on low heat, the banitsa ( cheese pie) which simply melts in your mouth, and famous Bulgarian yogurt?
The Bulgarian "culinary" geography abounds in delicious specialties and exotic dishes: Bansko-style kapama (meat and vegetables stewed in an earthenware dish), Rhodope cheverme ( lamb roasted on a spit over an open fire), Thracian katmi ( a special type of pancake) and Dobroudjanska banitsa, Danube fish soup and Sozopol-style mussels. The cosy, typically Bulgarian folk-style restaurants will tempt you with Shopska salad and chilled grape brandy, stuffed vine leaves or peppers, kavarma the Miller's Way, monastery-style hotchpotch, moussaka and kebab. The smell of oven-fresh bread rolls is mixed with the fragrance of savoury. Thinly sliced loukanka (flat dry sausage) from Smyadovo, pastarma, feta and yellow cheese are temptingly arranged on ceramic plates. The delicate white wines Dimyat, Misket and Riesling are followed by full reds such as Merlot, Cabernet and Gamza. Cups of steaming coffee are served with sweet jam, pancakes with honey and walnuts or baklava.