Pyrlenka recipe & story

Pyrlenka (пърленка) is a sort of traditional Bulgarian pastry, as well as mekitsi, banitsa, tumannik, pita and katmi. Roughly speaking, pyrlenka is a flatbread cooked in a special way, something between pancake, loaf and flatcake. Few people know that pyrlenka name came from Bulgarian word «пърлене», which means «scorch». Most of the Bulgarians are quite conservative, especially when it comes to food, so none of the local holiday feast is complete without homemade pyrlenka.

Bulgarian Banitsa. Recipe & story

Banitsa is a traditional pastry made from thin layers of puff dough. Home banitsa is an essential part of the Bulgarian tableful. On holidays a “lucky coin” is baked inside: it is wishes, written on paper and wrapped in foil or a piece of dogwood with berries.

Traditional filling is white cheese (sirene/сирене) there are also options with spinach (spanachnik/спаначник), pumpkin (tikvenik/тиквеник), herbs (zelnik/зелник), potatoes (patatnik/пататник), onions (luchnik/лучник), fish and meat. The shape also differs: spiral banitsa is called “sviwnik/свивник”, layered like lasagna “nalozgena/наложена” banica.

Lutenitсa recipe & story

Apart from Bulgaria lutenica is popular in Macedonia, Serbia, Greece, and even in Turkey thanks to their geography, climate and historical ties between these countries. The main ingredient of this chutney is capsicum - a sweet pepper, also known as bell pepper, well growing in Balkan region. Lutenica comes in many varieties, is available in any store and is served either as a relish or as a side to main courses in all local restaurants.

As for texture lutenica can be smooth (“finosmlyana”/финосмляна) or grainy (“edrosmlyana”/едросмляна), according to Bulgarian words “fino/фино” (“fine”) and “edro/едро” (“big”, “course”). This treat is traditionally enjoyed with chips or is spread on breads. It also can be served with grated cheese sprinkled on it, and is spotted to come as ketchup for European dishes.