shopska salad

Shopska salad, also known as Bulgarian salad (Bulgarian, Macedonian, and Serbian: Шопска салата; Bosnian and Croatian: Šopska salata; ; ; ; ), is a traditional Bulgarian cold salad popular throughout the Balkans and Central Europe. It is made from tomatoes, cucumbers, onion/scallions, raw or roasted peppers, sirene (white brine cheese), and parsley. The vegetables are usually diced and salted, followed by a light dressing of sunflower oil or olive oil, which are occasionally complemented by vinegar. The addition of vinegar contributes, however, to the sour flavour that the tomatoes impart. In restaurants, the dressings are provided separately. Lastly, the vegetables are covered in a thick layer of grated or diced sirene cheese. This salad is often consumed as an appetiser with rakia. Shopska salad derives its name from the region called Shopluk. It is a product of early socialism in Bulgaria, the only survivor of five or six recipes, written in the late 1950s, whose aim was to impress the foreigners to visit the country. At the time, leading chefs from Balkanturist invented Dobrujan, Macedonian, Thracian and several other salads with similar names, which were associated with different ethnographical regions. It turns out that only the Shopska salad survived because of its unique combination of flavors.