Shopska salad wins European vote

The staple Bulgarian dish became a hit in A Taste of Europe EP initiative

The EP Face­book app of A Taste of Europe ini­ti­a­tive.

The shop­ska sal­ad turned out to be Bul­gar­ia's most rec­og­nis­a­ble brand in Europe. The clas­sic dish was the most pop­u­lar rec­i­pe in a Euro­pe­an Par­lia­ment ini­ti­a­tive called A Taste of Europe.

The shop­ska sal­ad turned out to be Bul­gar­ia's most rec­og­nis­a­ble brand in Europe. The clas­sic dish was the most pop­u­lar rec­i­pe in a Euro­pe­an Par­lia­ment ini­ti­a­tive called A Taste of Europe.
"Com­ing up to the Euro­pe­an Elec­tions, it's all about who gets your vote. Elec­tion Night is when you final­ly get to see for your­self what impact you made on Europe's future, so why spend such a big night alone?" the EP offi­cial Face­book page asked in its spe­cial app.
The EP web team made sure it offered a rich menu for a big elec­tion night with authen­tic recipes from each Mem­ber State ran­ging from Spain's gaz­pacho to the UK's fish and chips to Swed­en's meat­balls. The most pop­u­lar dish, with more than 16,000 likes was Bul­gar­ia's shop­ska sal­ad. Oth­er offer­ings from Bul­gar­ia for the elec­tion night feast includ­ed the cold yoghurt soup tara­tor, shop­ski crock-pot cheese, bean soup and baked apples. The shop­ska sal­ad, how­e­ver, scored a land­slide vic­to­ry.
In the list of the most pop­u­lar dish­es for an elec­tion night feast, it came ahead of a Lith­u­a­ni­an cold beet soup. The top 5 includ­ed Roma­ni­an and Greek dish­es, too. Both coun­tries' top choi­ces were rolls - cab­bage sar­ma­le com­ing from Bucha­rest and grape leaves dol­mat­hak­ia from Athens.
The EP app pro­vides quite detailed instruc­tions on how to make the pre­ferred Bul­gar­i­an sal­ad. The rec­i­pe is easy. The ingre­di­ents are 4 toma­toes, 1 large cucum­ber, 4 green or red pep­pers, 1 large yel­low onion or 6 spring onions, fresh pars­ley, a half a cup of grat­ed Bul­gar­i­an sirene cheese, salt, pep­per and sun­flow­er oil to taste.
As a mat­ter of fact, the shop­ska sal­ad dates back to the ear­ly social­ist peri­od. It is the only rec­i­pe of the six dif­fer­ent nation­al­ly themed veg­e­ta­ble start­ers cre­at­ed in the late 1950s to pull through. The aim was to impress for­eign vis­it­ors with sal­ads that not only reflect Bul­gar­i­an tast­es but also their idea of com­bin­ing veg­e­ta­bles. Thus, a num­ber of tast­ing events held by the state-owned trav­el agen­cy, Bal­kant­our­ist, end­ed up in choos­ing the deli­cious mix of toma­toes, cucum­bers, pep­pers, onions and cheese and pitch­ing it as shop­ska sal­ad.
Tra­di­tion­al Bul­gar­i­an cui­sine did not include sal­ads, the Bul­gar­i­an Acad­e­my of Sci­en­ces Insti­tute of Eth­nol­o­gy and Folk­lore Stud­ies points out. There was just one dish resem­bling a sal­ad in those lands, which was made of onions crushed with salt and vin­e­gar. This food, known as sala, was most­ly typ­i­cal of the Plov­div region.

Similar articles