In the history of Bulgaria, teeming with tragic rifts, the symbols of national unity quickly wear out. The national ideals turn into national catastrophes, the Kirilitsa (Cyrillic alphabet) turns into Latinitsa (Latin alphabet), and the national flag sweats on the unworthy shoulders of football crowds. There is one symbol, however, which is indefeasible – banitsa.
The summer has already set in Bulgaria, and the sun has become scorching. However, besides ladies walking in short skirts, the season also provides a plethora of fruits and vegetables. And, having travelled to more than 25 countries around the world, I can proudly say Bulgarian fruits and vegetables are one of world’s most succulent.
One could hardly imagine that something so simple can be so delicious. Even a person armed with a rich English vocabulary would be challenged to describe it. Delectable, lip-smacking, toothsome, appetising – lyutenitsa is all of that and even more.
While in the West it is usually referred to as “Bulgarian yoghurt”, in its homeland it is called sour milk (kiselo mlyako or “кисело мляко” in Cyrillic). Regardless of its name, this magical probiotic product comes with an impeccable ancestry – it is believed to have been known for around 4,000 years.