Stage 7 - Food in Spain and Bulgaria

In Spain
In Bulgaria
Pasta salad
Potato omelette
Tomato bread
Bean soup
The most popular meals are often traditional ones too.
According to an old Bulgarian custom, on Christmas Eve ,there should be more than seven always an
odd number) lenten meals, with each dish symbolizing the household’s hopes for
luck, health and happiness during the forthcoming year.
The most common dishes on the Christmas Eve dinner table are the round loaf, cabbage or vine leaves
stuffed with rice, beans in a pot, stuffed peppers, pickles, pumpkin pie, banitsa, boiled wheat, stewed dried
fruit (oshav), garlic, onion, honey, dried fruit, walnuts, apples, wine and traditional Bulgarian brandy - rakia.
Once the table is laid and the house is being incensed the feast may begin, along with numerous predictions
for the year to come.
In the round loaf bread there is a hidden coin, part of an important Christmas ritual. The eldest
member of the family takes three pieces of bread and sets them aside - one piece for Jesus, one for Mary and
one for the household. He then breaks up the bread and gives a piece to everyone at the table. The person who
finds the coini n his piece is expected to have good fortune in the next year. In some parts of the country,
unmarried girls take their first piece of bread from the Christmas Eve meal and place it under their pillows,
believing that they will then dream of their intended husband during the night. There are walnuts for everyone
in the family on the table; to predict what the year will bring , everyone cracks one. If it is good and delicious,
the year is going to be lucky; if the walnut is empty - you can expect a bad year!
Another spell for prosperity is made by the yule log (badnyak) – especially picked timber - eing put into
the fire and left to burn throughout the night on Christmas Eve. It is believed that this will bring luck and make
people’s hopes a reality. When the meal is over the table is not cleared until the following morning. The reasons
for this tradition vary; some say it is to ensure that there will be plenty of food in the coming year, whilst others
leave the food out for departed family members whose spirits may return, or for Joseph and Mary in case they
stop at their home on their way to Bethlehem.
In the menu of kings, we eat tapas,
soup, galets (a snail-shaped pasta),
roasted pig a cake. A bean is inserted
into the ake and the one who finds it is
At Easter there is a special meal
and for dessert a cake decoration
that brings chocolate eggs. It is
usually made with chocolate figures
. It is a sweet that the godfather and
godmother give to the children.
As we were given loads of recipes, we decided to choose the most famous one.
1/2 pint of olive oil
10 mussels
10 clams
2 oz boneless pork, diced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
6 oz onions, chopped fine
1 medium tomato, skinned, seeded and chopped
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
1 small green bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
1 small yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
32 oz skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
24 oz lobster claws
24 oz rice
3 cups (48 fl. oz) chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon saffron
2 chorizo sausages, cooked and cut into chunks
10 uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 oz peas
4 tablespoon capers
Lemon wedges, to garnish
Scrub and clean the mussels and clams, discarding any that don't
close when tapped sharply. Set aside.
Heat 1/4 cup (2fl. oz) of the olive oil in a skillet. Add the pork, and
brown all sides. Mix in the garlic, onions, tomato, and bell peppers,
stirring constantly until cooked. Set aside.
In another skillet, heat a further 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz) olive oil and cook
the chicken until browned on all sides. Season with salt, pepper,
paprika, rosemary, thyme, and cumin. Transfer the chicken to a
plate and set aside.
In the same skillet, cook the lobster claws overt high heat for
several minutes until its shell turns pink. Set the skillet aside.
Preheat the oven to 200 ºF. Heat 4 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet,
and sauté the rice until it's translucent. Pour in the chicken broth,
and combine well. Add the pork mixture, stirring constantly. Sprinkle
in the saffron and continue to stir until well mixed.
Transfer the rice into a paella pan. Mix in the lobster claws, chicken,
chorizo sausages, mussels, clams, shrimp, peas, and capers,
combining well. Bake the paella, uncovered, and on the lowest oven
shelf, for around 25 minutes, or until all the liquid has been
Discard any mussels and clams that have failed to open.
Serve the paella straight from the pan, garnished with lemon
Banitsa (say it "BAH-nit-sa", not "ba-NEET-sa") is a traditional Bulgarian dish
consumed at any meal. Here in Bulgaria, breakfast is often a pastry eaten while
walking to work. If you've visited Bulgaria, you've probably seen people eating banitsa
purchased from street kiosks, and you may even have tried some for yourself.
What you need:
2 packets of phyllo dough (Bulgarian "fini kori"
or phyllo from the frozen desserts section)
200 grams of yellow cheese (Bulgarian
kashkaval or a mixture of cheddar and
500 grams of white cheese (Bulgarian sirene
or feta cheese)
7 eggs
100 grams of butter
1/2 cup of soda water
1 cup yogurt
How to make it:
Mix six of the eggs, the grated butter, the
crumbled white cheese, the yellow cheese
cut in small pieces, and the yogurt. In a
buttered pan, lay a layer of the phyllo dough,
spread a layer of the mixture, and continue
alternating layers so that the phyllo and the
mixture are finished about the same time.
Finish with a layer of phyllo dough. Then cut
the banitsa into serving pieces. Mix the last
egg with the soda water and stir. Pour the
mixture over the banitsa and make sure
there are no pieces of the phyllo dough left
Bake in a preheated over at 200 C for 40
minutes, or till golden. Enjoy!
The Bulgaria team doesn’t have much time for breakfast and lunch, but dinner is
important because the family have dinner together, usually around 8 p.m.
In Spain, they always have enough time to eat and enjoy their meals.
In Bulgaria, they eat cooked meal mainly at dinner time.
Spanish people, in general, don’t eat it, but sometimes, when they arrive home after the
school, they eat a cooked meal which their parents have prepared before.
For the Bulgarian people, it's great when they don't have time to make their own food. But
some people try to avoid eating too much because it's not good for me. Bulgarian people
think it is important. They live healthily: they try don't drink alcohol and don't smoke and
they eat vegetables and fruits, but they could eat less another things.
In Spain, some people don’t like fast food and they try not to eat at places like McDonald's or
Burger King because they only cook junk food. This people prefer other types of food like
salads, meat, fish, pasta and vegetables. Spanish people think that they have to eat in a
healthy way because it’s important to them, to their health and to their future. They eat all
types of food, specially fish and vegetables and also, they do sport twice a week.
The table settings are very similar in both countries. In their daily life, Bulgarian people
and Spanish people alike use a plate, a glass, a knife, a fork, a spoon and a napkin.
Depending on the meal, they use a different type of plate. The knife is usually on the right
and the fork on the left of the plate. Bread, water and wine are on the table too,
frequently in the center of it.
In Spain, for special days or meals, they add more forks and knives and they order them
from the smallest to the biggest. They also put 2 glasses or coups, one for the water and
the other for the wine. The napkin is always folded in a special shape.
At my home it’s very important to stay all the family together at the table while we
are eating. It is a time when we can talk about our day, our problems, and our
daily life. I love these moments. My parents hate watching TV while we are
eating because they think that it disturbs the moment and communication in
a family is essential.”
by Julia, from Spain.
“We usually eat together only at dinner. The rest of the time , for breakfast and
lunch, my family is at work. But we have dinner together, because dinner time
is family time !! :))
by Ivelina, from Bulgaria.
In Spain, we have four to five meals. The first is breakfast at 8 a.m. The second meal
at 2 p.m., the third at 6 p.m. is a snack and dinner is at9 p.m.
by Anna Luna, Spain.
Well, in Bulgaria, we have breakfast between 9 & 10 o`clock, lunch between 1 &
2:30. Sometimes, around 4 or 5 o`clock we have some fruit and dinner is generally
between 8-9 o`clock.
by Ivelina, Bulgaria.
In Spain, for breakfast we usually eat
milk with cereals, coffee and biscuits
or juice with toasts and marmalade.
For lunch we do two dishes and a
dessert. Frequently we eat pasta and
meat or fish. For dinner we often eat
salads with ham or cheese and bread.
Sometimes we add meat or fish like at
In Bulgaria, our usual breakfast is coffee
or tea, some juice, cookie and may be
In Bulgaria, for lunch , there may be salad, soup or chicken meat with garnish. At
dinner we like to eat home-made dish, like moussaka, gyuveche, some soup, salad
again and may be something for drink (whisky, a brandy) :))
In Spain, or lunch we do two dishes and a dessert. Frequently we eat pasta and
meat or fish. For dinner we often eat salads with ham or cheese and bread.
Sometimes we add meat or fish like at lunch.
At a Spanish party , it’s common to put a lot of dishes in a table and then people take
whatever they want. The dishes are often ham, cheese, prawns, bread, croquettes,
smoked salmon, scallops, foie gras…
At a Bulgarian party we serve French fries with chicken meat or meatball, kebapche
with salad again. Or we also serve only sandwiches, cake and juice . It depends how
old you are.
The End

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