Traditional food and cuisine of the target regions in Serbia and Bulgaria
Nis is located in the southern part of Serbia, in the valley of the river Nisava near the confluence in the river South Morava. It is in the wider spatial area of the Rhodope mass, which stretches between the Dinaric mountains in the west, Velika Morava and the Carpathian-Balkan mountains in the north and east. This region has an extremely favorable traffic-geographical position. The most important roads connecting northern and western Europe with the south of the continent pass here. International Corridor 10 passes through the central part of the region, so it has a favorable transit position that significantly affects the development of the region.
Serbian cuisine is heterogeneous, because turbulent historical events have affected the diet of the people, so each region has its own specifics and differences. It can be said that the decisive influences were Byzantine-Greek, that is – Mediterranean, then Oriental and Austro-Hungarian. Food preparation is an integral part of Serbian tradition and culture. In Serbia, it is common to eat 3 times a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner), noting that the most important meal is breakfast, while the most common meal is usually lunch.
Serbian traditional cuisine includes a treasure trove of flavors and aromas created by a mixture of influences of various peoples who passed through here and lived in this area. As in culture in general, this fusion of different influences has resulted in originality, so the rich Serbian table offers unforgettable tastes that can only be felt in Serbia. Serbian cuisine is characterized by a very diverse, strong and spicy food, which could roughly be said to be a combination of Greek, Bulgarian, Turkish and Hungarian cuisine. It is dominated by the use of meat, dough, vegetables and dairy products. Food preparation is a special part of Serbian tradition and culture. In Serbian villages, the kitchen was also called “house”, and the central part was the fireplace, which was an important, cult place, next to which everyday life took place and the whole family gathered.
Kyustendil District is one of the 28 districts of Bulgaria located in southwestern Bulgaria. It borders on the north, northeast and east with the districts of Sofia and Pernik and on the south – with Blagoevgrad, and on the west – with the Republic of Northern Macedonia and the Republic of Serbia. It covers 9 municipalities – Kyustendil, Dupnitsa, Bobov Dol, Sapareva Banya, Rila, Kocherinovo, Nevestino, Boboshevo and Treklyano with 182 settlements and a population of 126,014 people.
The Bulgarian national cuisine reflects the traditions of nutrition, established in our centuries-old history under the influence of various factors – historical and socio-economic development, geographical and climatic conditions, demographic changes, communications and the influence of other peoples on Bulgarian nutrition, customs. , way of life, religion, culture, etc.
Thracians, Slavs and Proto-Bulgarians, participating in the formation of the Bulgarian nation, leave their mark on the peculiarities of our national cuisine. The Thracians were engaged in hunting, fishing, agriculture (wheat, flax, hemp, millet), fruit growing, viticulture (producing wine), gardening, raising animals. Theophratus (372 – 287 BC) reported the presence of walnuts, chestnuts, dogwood, pears, apples, hawthorn, wormwood, wild scabies, vines, pomegranates, olives, beans, roses. According to Pliny (23-79), the Thracians were able to produce wine. Bread was made from water chestnut; they consumed beer and parabia (boza), which they prepared from roots and barley and made rich treats. According to Xentofant, meat, milk and dairy products (cheese, butter, cottage cheese, yogurt) are part of the Thracian diet, but a variety of fruits were also present on their table. According to Hecate, the inhabitants of the valley of the Struma River ate butter with bread; they grew olives, figs, grapes. Viron added that the Thracians ate a lot of bacon and pork. She ate honey, milk and cheese. According to Amiam Mycein (IV century), the longevity of the Thracians is also due to their abstinence from “bad” foods and the use of a lot of milk (fresh or condensed), fresh or dried fruits, vegetables and some grass roots. In Roman times, the Thracians practiced various balneotherapy procedures with mineral water and diet (the menu of Thracian priests consisted of dairy foods, fruits and vegetables).