Do you love cheese? Bulgarians, undoubtedly do! Cheeses of every conceivable form and consistency may be found on Bulgarian restaurant menus. Cheese is an excellent food option for the hungry Bulgarian at any time of the day, whether it be breakfast, lunch, supper, or simply a snack.
Cheese is the primary ingredient that goes into the production of the well-known Bulgarian pastry known as banitsa. Cheese is an essential component of the Shopska salad, which is often considered to be the most well-liked food in Bulgaria. Cheese has made its way into the hearts of hungry Bulgarians in a variety of forms, from grilled sandwiches and fried appetisers to major courses such as gouache prepared in the Shopski manner.
Let’s have a look at some of the most well-known and delicious cheeses that Bulgaria has to offer.
The Bulgarian sirene, also known as white brine cheese, is by far the country’s most well-known and widely consumed cheese. It is a soft, white cheese that can be produced from the milk of cows, sheep, or goats.
The most popular type of cheese is white cow’s cheese, most likely because it has a pleasant flavour and is very inexpensive. The majority of Bulgarians believe that sirene is the only cheese that is entirely white. It is often compared to the feta cheese that is made in Greece, however, despite the fact that there are some similarities, the two pieces of cheese are not identical. White brine cheese from Bulgaria has a grainy consistency and is slightly crumbly in appearance.
As was noted above, one of the most well-liked meals in all of Bulgaria is called banitsa, and it is made with Bulgarian sirene. In addition to phyllo dough, some of the components include eggs, sirene, and sparkling water. Additionally, some individuals enjoy including yoghurt from Bulgaria in their meals.
White brine cheese from Bulgaria is used as the primary ingredient in Shopska salad, as well. Cucumbers, tomatoes, green raw peppers, scallions or onions, parsley, and sirene are the ingredients that go into its preparation.
White brine cheese is a staple ingredient in many traditional Bulgarian dishes, including popular (a type of bread porridge), omelettes, Kachemak (a type of Bulgarian polenta), and macaroni, stuffed peppers, and vegetable soups. Fry cheese with blueberry jam to give it a sweet and tart flavour; this is a popular choice for an appetiser.
Another well-liked variety of cheese in Bulgaria is kashkaval, sometimes known as yellow cheese. It’s most comparable to Cheddar cheese, actually. Milk from either sheep or cows, or sometimes a combination of the two, is used in the production of this product. It is golden in colour and has a feel that is firm and soft. A great number of traditional Bulgarian meals call for the use of kashkaval.
The grilled sandwich known as “The Princess” incorporates kashkaval into its construction. In addition, an appetiser dish known as kashkaval pane which is deep-fried and highly well-liked in Bulgaria is available.
Kashkavalka is another well-known dish served for breakfast in Bulgaria. The dough for the kashkavalka has the yellow cheese mixed into it, and the cheese is also sprinkled on top. In addition, kashkaval may be seen sprinkled on pizzas.
Izvara is another type of cheese that is frequently consumed in Bulgaria. It is also known as curd or Bulgarian cottage cheese. It is a common component of Bulgarian breakfasts, and in some households, it is substituted for banitsa since it is more cost-effective.
It may be used in savoury dishes as well as sweet ones, such as cheesecakes and stuffed peppers, for example. Due to the various advantages, it offers to one’s health, it is extremely well-liked among dieters as well as among athletes. Izvara is a kind of cheese that is higher in protein yet has fewer calories than white brine cheese.
4. Green Cheese
Sheep’s milk is used in the production of the traditional Bulgarian green cheese from Cherni Vit. It has a fascinating history, and its name originates from the colour of the crust, which gives it away. Even though it was thought to be dangerous because of the mould that was present, it has been made in Cherni Vit for several centuries.
When the wooden barrels that were used in the cheese-making process were replaced with plastic ones, the cheese gradually started to disappear. This is because the fungus develops naturally in the oak barrels, whereas other European green cheeses utilise fungus that has been added to them.
In 2007, manufacturing was restarted, and as of now, it is the only mould cheese available in Bulgaria. However, because it is exclusively manufactured locally, it is not available on the mass market.
The cheese known as bryndza in Bulgaria is generally produced with the milk of sheep or goats. Because it contains both izvara and kashkaval, it has a flavour that is hard to describe to someone else.
It has a long history of production in the Rodopi Mountains. These days, there are farmer’s markets all over the place where native producers will show you how bryndza is created in Bulgaria.
Bryndza, on the other hand, is normally maintained in jars or tiny containers, in contrast to the Bulgarian white brine cheese, which is typically kept in large containers and sliced into large square pieces. This is because its consistency is somewhat comparable to that of izvara.
6. White Cheese from Chernichevo
Only in the hamlet of Chernichevo is this type of white cheese produced. It has a consistency that is between soft and firm and is produced using milk from cows or sheep.
This white cheese has ayran as a primary component, making it one of its most unique flavour profiles. Ayran is a traditional beverage from Bulgaria that is produced by mixing Bulgarian yoghurt, which is also known as kiselo mlyako, with water. Cheese is made in Chernichevo, which is one of the few localities in Bulgaria that also makes use of ayran.
7. Buffalo Cheese
Buffalo cheese is another type of white cheese that is quite popular and is mass made. In spite of its higher price compared to white brine cheese, buffalo cheese is characterised by a flavour that is quite distinctive and mild.
Because buffalo milk is rich in protein and has a thick consistency, buffalo cheese also has a high-fat content and a good amount of protein. It is beneficial to one’s health in many different ways.