Vegetarian Cooking & Recipes

Bulgarian Super Salad

What I like about this is that it uses simple ingredients, but is really nicely presented. It’s made with all local, seasonal produce, which is very much a feature of Bulgarian food.

You can go to the supermarket and the apples are actually different sizes, some are even bruised, and the tomatoes have a taste, yes, amazing they are really sweet. It’s nice to think that there are no chemicals on the food, so we ask and get reassuring nods, but what does a nod mean in Bulgaria, and did they know what we were asking anyway? So we visualise sunny fields with happy workers, bees and wild flowers, in reality they are probably still using up some bunker full of DDT from the communist era.

For me this salad was the perfect antidote to nouveau cuisine (it can’t still be nouveau cuisine after 30 years) or food that’s a bit pretentious, it was good basic ingredients, nothing you need to go on-line for, or go to a different city, search out the ethnic market, and nearly get mugged.

It was presented using the natural colour and beauty of the food, and lots of it! Last time I went for a meal, at a posh restaurant I had to stop off on the way home for a bag of chips, and the cashpoint! Cos not only was I starving but broke too. Here food is cheap only 3lv for that which is about £1.25.  But it didn’t stop us haggling over the bill, stingy sods that we are.

Its funny the first day its ‘wow everything is so cheap, £3 for a meal out, coffee 40p, Bulgarian chocolate 20p a bar.’ Then after a few days its I not paying 2lv for that (80p) it’s a total rip off!

The other great thing is you can’t read the labels so we can assume the jam is pure Bulgarian fruit with sugar just to preserve, there are lots of numbers there, but is that a Bulgarian E in front of them? Surely not, probably the phone number with commas. Also the date, we got some Bulgarian biscuits with 24/8/10, but that is probably when they were made, and they were rushed into the shops last week, another had 1/10/10 so it’s probably a display date and they have put it out a bit early.

The way food is presented, served and eaten is so important, the care and love of preparation actually goes into the food and is as important as any vitamin. When it’s served the whole action of giving is a real exchange of energy, and eating in a calm environment with family and friends, and that’s what I see here.

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