WEEK 17 – BULGARIA
From tree lined mountain ranges housing isolated villages and thousand year old monasteries to eccentric modern cities and beautiful beaches lining the Black Sea coast, Bulgaria.
Located in south-eastern Europe, Bulgaria is quite a mountainous country with seven mountain ranges criss-crossing the country. It’s capital city, Sofia is located at the foot of Vitosha Mountain in the western part of the country. It is the 14th largest city in Europe, with a population of 1.3 million people. Sofia is full of churches with over 50 in the city limits. A church which brings tourists from everywhere to see is the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in the center of the city.
With such a long and fierce history, Bulgaria houses many ancient ruins strewn all across the country, they’re windows into the past of, ancient peoples and civilisations that have risen, fallen, conquered and passed through this land.
Bulgarian food has a lot common with other Balkans cuisines, it also shares a number of dishes with Greek, Middle Eastern, and Italian cuisines. Salads are often appetizers and main courses are typically water-based stews, deep-fried foods are not popular whereas grilling, especially sausages is very common. Pork is the most widely eaten meat and is often mixed with beef or lamb. Bulgarians eat a lot of dairy products particular yoghurt, and they have been since 300 BC.
WHAT I MADE
So I decided to make a Bulgarian dessert. After quite a lot of deliberating on what I should make, I settled on sweet apple-walnut banitzas. I sourced the recipe from here → bulgariandesserts/applebanitza
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time : 40 minutes
½ cup finely chopped walnuts
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons bread crumbs
18 sheets filo dough, thawed
150g butter, melted
4 apples, peeled, cored and grated
- Heat oven to 2oo degrees. Mix walnuts, sugar, cinnamon, bread crumbs and set aside
- Place one sheet filo dough on a tea towel or kitchen paper. Brush lightly with butter. Repeat 2 more times so there are 3 layers of filo.
- Portion out 1/5th of the walnut mixture on the entire surface of the filo. Then, place 1/5th of the apples in a 1/2-inch-wide strip along the short edge and 1/2 inch away from the sides. Fold up bottom edge first, then sides, and then roll away from yourself, using the towel/paper to help, until you have a tight cylinder. Brush lightly with more melted butter and sprinkle with extra sugar, if desired.
- Repeat with remaining filo dough. Place banitzi on a parchment-lined pan and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Serve warm or at room temperature.
So having made these I found them very enjoyable, sweet and crispy and delicious. Score = 7/10