Monday, April 2, 2012

Sweets From Bulgaria

The other day was dedicated to Bulgarian cooking. This was a varied hybrid cuisine of Slavic and Greek dishes. Bulgarian sweets are also the same, having as many different kinds of cake and pastries like the Italians, Germans and of course, the French.The Bulgarians are lucky to have such a wide cornucopia of desserts to choose from.The array is one of the most dazzling of all the European.

Thanks to Greece as well as the Ottoman Turk influence baklava is a big treat/. This is the very popular layering of crisp and flaky phylo dough and chopped nuts. Usually the nuts are pistachios or walnuts and honey or a simple syrup is poured over the layers.Another treat of the area, halvah is also made. This is a kind of treat has a base of flour, clarified butter and semolina. There is also a tahini version which derives from sesame seeds.The Bulgarians also love fruit so there are a lot of fruit tarts such as with their cherry ones and a fruity  called Kompot. This is a a kind of tea made with fruit cooked in a large volume of water. Apples and rhubarb are used as are gooseberries, peaches and strawberries along with sour cheeries and apricots.

Sweet breads are also popular, probably thanks to the Slavic influence on the country. Many Bulgarians are probably making their own version of kozunak, a sweet Easter bread.This is like the Italian panettone , a sweet bread redolent with fruits and nuts. Rum or poppy seeds can be sprinkled on top. Another  treat is sweet pita which is a fried pita usually served with jam and cheese. Kazaniak doughnuts, are also a big favorite, and they're similar to our American ones with powdered sugar.There is also lokum, a puff pastry  that has poppy seeds on top.

Bulgaria isn't just known for its' hybrid main dishes but for a wide variety of dishes. There's influence from Greece, Turley and to the north , the Slavic states.It makes for an interesting dessert table. It also makes for great endings to great meals.

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