What’s on the traditional table of Bulgarians during the Easter Lent
And while for the Catholic world Christ is Risen, Orthodox Christians are only in the middle of the Easter Lent, which lasts until May 2 this year. Giving up food and abstaining from certain products is part of the history and religion of every nation. According to the Orthodox Christian canons, fasting is performed every Wednesday and Friday of the week, and longer fasts, lasting about a month and a half, are before Christmas and Easter.
If we look at fasting rationally, we will see that giving up animal products is a natural way to cleanse our bodies of the heavy traditional winter cuisine, filled with a lot of meat, bacon and fat and to prepare our bodies for the physical work that is coming in the spring and summer.
According to historical records, ever since the 15th to the 18th century the dishes of the Bulgarians were prepared "modestly, but cleanly", from "various and good quality products". What was produced was placed on the table. The legumes, which occupy a special place in many ritual practices - wheat, bulgur, lentils, peas - were highly revered. But during Lent, the first green stalks of nettle, sorrel, and dock are among the main foods as well as onions, garlic and all legumes carefully stored during the long winter.
Which product helps to make fasting the easiest and why the traditional stuffed peppers and sarmi were made with bulgur and not with rice? You can read more in the publication "Traditional Bulgarian diet during Lent" from Radio Bulgaria’s Best collection.
Written by Vesela Krasteva
English Rositsa Petkova