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Shopska Salad – No 1 in EU

БНР Новини
Photo: library

White, green and red – the colors of the Bulgarian national flag are skillfully interweaving in the masterpiece of this country’s culinary art – the Shopska Salad, which has turned into a hit within the EU. The trademark of Bulgaria’s cuisine tops the rankings of national meals, organized by the European Parliament due to the EP election.

Dish for the night of the vote

The Bulgarian Shopska Salad was ranked first on the Continent within the framework of the Taste of Europe initiative, outrunning Italian spaghetti, Spanish gazpacho, Swedish meatballs and British fish. The cold soup of Lithuania comes second, followed by Romania’s cabbage leaves. The competition has been fierce and one can see recipes from all over the EU on the website of the EP. Bulgaria’s national dish has turned out to be best preferred by the Europeans for the night of the polls, as the parliament’s idea is precisely this one – to have a party, to celebrate the vote with friends and to check out how we have influenced the future of Europe. We can say that the Shopska Salad has already won the election.

The secret of this triumph

It is a simple combination of mutually complementing, but at the same time contrasting tastes of raw vegetables and cheese. Obviously the mixture of sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and onion, covered with crumbled cheese and parsley creates this unforgettable taste, which both Bulgarians and foreigners like. The Shopska Salad has had its triumph outside Bulgaria for nearly 60 years and many countries have learnt its recipe, as no other salad, so fresh and rich in taste, exists throughout Europe.

From Robert De Niro and Elton John to oil painting

Robert De Niro, Harrison Ford, Keanu Reeves, Antonio Banderas, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and many other stars, who have filmed here, discovered the secret of the masterpiece a long time ago. The list of Shopska Salad’s fans also includes Elton John, George Michael, Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, Aerosmith, Shakira’s bass guitarist Juan Garcia-Herreros and others. The Scorpions were amazed by the emblematic dish and requested lots of it on their table. That is why the first words, which a foreigner learns in Bulgarian are precisely Shopska Salad. The masterpiece is a character of many Bulgarian songs and it has also inspired artist Valentina Cherneva to eternalize it on canvas.

The copyright issue

Most of the Bulgarians think that the Shopska Salad is a part of their folk culinary art. Actually it was created by a team of chefs back in the 1960s, when the tasty hors d’oeuvre turned into a symbol of the Balkantourist hotel network. It was the time, when taverns, hot pots and table cloths with embroideries became popular. The idea was foreign tourists to be impressed with unique Bulgarian tastes. Thus the incredible symbiosis between red peppers, tomatoes, green cucumbers and white cheese was born – just like the colors of the national flag. If one adds the hot Bulgarian Rakia brandy, the image gets even more colorful. Maybe it is time for this country to patent the culinary masterpiece and to voice its copyright claims, especially now, when the Taste of Europe appears to be the Bulgarian Shopska Salad.

One can vote online in Facebook for the best recipe of the community.

English version: Zhivko Stanchev

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