Bulgarian Cheeses and Dairy Products

Bulgarian Kashkaval Cheese
Bulgarian Kashkaval Cheese © 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.

Bulgarian Kashkaval Cheese

Kashkaval is Bulgaria's popular yellow, semi-hard cheese made from sheep's milk that can be spicy or bland and is typically aged for six months. It's great for grating, cooking and melting, and is similar to Italian Pecorino Romano or Greek kasseri, but can variously taste like provolone and even pungent blue cheese (without any hint of mold).

Bulgarian Brinza Cheese

Brinza is another popular cheese in Bulgaria. It's a salty sheep's milk cheese similar to Bulgarian feta (sirene / sirenje) that is spreadable when young and crumbly when it's aged. It's good in salads or melted.

Bulgarian Sirene or Feta Cheese

Bulgarian feta cheese (sirene) is a fresh soft brined cheese made with sheep's, goat's or cow's milk and considered by some to be superior to Greek or French feta. It is also known as "white brine sirene." It has a strong aroma and a salty, sharp taste. Sirene is said to have originated in the Trakia region in southern Bulgaria. It is used in everything from shopska salata to savory banitza.

Bulgarian Urdă Cheese

Urdă is a type of traditional soft white cheese made from the whey that is the liquid byproduct of other cheesemaking using cow's, goat's or sheep's milk. It is heated and often molded into a half-round shape. It has a grainy, crumbly but silky texture and pleasant taste.

Bulgarian Yogurt

Bulgarian yogurt is legendary for its health benefits. Known as kiselo mliako (literally meaning sour milk), this particular variety of yogurt is created by the lactobacterium bulgaricum bacteria, one that grows nowhere else in the world, which is why some say it's the best-tasting yogurt in the world. Bulgarians use yogurt in everything from soup to dessert and drink it in a beverage known as ajran, known as ayran in Turkey and elsewhere.

Bulgarian Cheese Recipes

  • Bulgarian Fried Cheese Recipe: Known as Kashkaval Pane, this fried cheese appetizer is 
  • Bulgarian Cheese Banitza Recipe: This appetizer recipe is similar to a filled and rolled blintz. In this savory recipe, it is filled with cheese but dessert banitzas also exist.
  • Bulgarian Shopska Salad Recipe: This refreshing salad is an iconic Bulgarian food that originated with the Shopi people of the Sofia region, and hence the name shopska.
  • Bulgarian Fried Peppers with Cheese RecipeRoasted peppers are stuffed with a cheese mixture and then breaded and pan fried.
  • Bulgarian Cheese Bread Recipe: Known as tootmanik s gotovo testo is made with thin sheets of lean white bread dough brushed with melted butter and then layered with Bulgarian feta cheese.
  • Bulgarian Potatoes au Gratin Recipe: This can be made with Bulgarian feta, farmer's cheese or creamed cottage cheese. The cheese and egg combination makes a beautiful soufflé on top.