Pasta and pizza are the most recognizable Italian culinary emblems. The typical flavors of Mediterranean cuisine are popular all over the world. Recipes for spaghetti, lasagna, ravioli, pizza, risotto, tiramisu and many others have long entered the home kitchen, including in our country.
But having the recipe still doesn’t mean preparing the original Italian dish. More craftsmanship and, of course, real natural products are needed. Every our hobby chef, who has decided to try himself in the vast culinary universe, first asks himself where we can get quality Italian products in Bulgaria.
Fortunately, nowadays this mission is quite possible, because a large part of the food needed for the preparation of delicious Mediterranean dishes can be found in stores in every major city in our country.
Italian products – also known in Bulgaria
Mediterranean cuisine is very popular in Bulgaria and therefore many of the Italian products are well recognizable in our country. They can be bought from specialty stores, hypermarkets, and some of them can even be found in the neighborhood store. There is also an option to order from specialized e-shops for Italian food.
Pasta and pizza are the most popular Italian dishes. Pizza can be eaten in any Italian restaurant in the world. The dish is tasty and relatively easy to prepare, so it has long entered the home kitchen in our country. The good news is that every housewife can get the most necessary products for a good pasta, without compromising.
First you have to get your chosen ready-made pasta. It is clear that not all types are available on our market, because the Italians claim that there are over 300. But you do not need this excess. In Bulgaria, all basic varieties are offered, with spaghetti being the most common.
You can also buy tagliatelle, which are flat strips, fusilli, which have a spiral shape in a shorter and longer version, or rigatons – short tubes with a grooved surface. Popular types also include cannelloni – wide tubes that are stuffed, flat lasagna sheets, ravioli and tortellini.
We also have foam, bucatini, papardelle, fettuccine. There is a paste with various shapes – ribbons, shells, wheels, etc.
In addition to dry pasta, the Bulgarian market also offers fresh pasta, which will take you directly to Italy with its taste. There are also pasta for people with special requirements – whole grain or gluten-free.
The quality of the pasta is very important, because the end result after cooking should be “al dente” or “to the tooth”, which means that in the middle should be kept a little hardness, not very high quality products just boil and boil.
You can combine the pasta with prosciutto or bacon, which are also present on the market in our country, and the vegetables or minced meat can be ours. In the end, however, you should also take care of grated Parmesan, which will give a pinch of magic to the culinary work.
The taste of the original Italian pasta is largely due to the sauce.
There are many types of sauces that can be made at home. For the convenience of home cooks, most of them can be found ready-made. Bolognese is one of the most popular Italian sauces, absolutely necessary for the pasta of the same name. Canned in jars contains minced onions, celery, carrots, minced pork and beef, olive oil, tomatoes and tomato concentrate, olive oil and spices.
Manufacturers recommend before use to heat on low heat or in a microwave, then just combine it with cooked pasta and serve.
Neapolitan is a unique sauce made from chopped tomatoes with carrots, garlic, olive oil, tomato paste, eggplant, zucchini, pepper, onion, bay leaf, garlic, oregano, paprika.
Basilico sauce is a classic tomato sauce with basil aroma and therefore its use is universal.
The sauce for pasta Arabia is made from chopped tomatoes, red peppers, and its spicy taste is due to hot peppers and garlic.
Also available Mediterranean sauce of tomatoes, olives, onions, capers, anchovy paste and spices.
Olive sauce contains tomatoes and pieces of black and green olives with olive oil, seasoned with white wine, onion, salt, capers, parsley and garlic. And now let’s turn to the other Italian classic that has conquered the whole world – pizza.
Most people in our country consume it in one of the many pizzerias or order it at home. Others try their skills in making pizza at home.
It does not require much effort, but you must keep in mind that the quality of the dough is of great importance, and it depends on the type of flour. Italians use type 00 flour, which contains more gluten than other flours – this contributes to the crispy crust. We now offer other Italian packaged flours – for example for cakes or corn for polenta.
Here is another ItalianHere is another Italian dish that is not complicated to prepare, but you will not do well if you do not use original products. It’s about risotto. To make it perfect, it must be prepared from special varieties of rice, such as Carnaroli, Vialone Nano or Arborio. They are rich in starch.
The other products must also be of high Italian quality – olive oil and dry white wine. Be sure to get Parmesan, which for Italian dishes is something like our “on every pot – merudia”. However, it will be discussed again in a while.
You should also not make improvisations with risotto spices. For example, if you want to prepare Milanese risotto so that you can be praised, you have to flavor it and color it in an attractive yellow color with real saffron.
To many of the dishes and pasta, the Italians add dried tomatoes in olive oil, which you can also buy ready-made.
Italian cheeses, popular in our country
The taste of many Italian dishes depends on the cheeses used in the recipes. Some of them are quite available on our market, while others are difficult or completely absent.
The most famous Italian cheese in the world is Parmigiano reggiano, better known in our country as Parmesan. It is a very hard, grainy cheese and is an important player in Italian cuisine.
Used in many recipes for different types of pasta, for pizzas and other dishes. Most often it is added grated at the end, but it can also be part of a plate with cheese. Parmesan ripens for many months, to acquire its characteristic dense taste.
Another no less popular Italian cheese, which can be easily found in our country, is Mozzarella. It is a soft fresh cheese, which according to the original recipe is made from buffalo milk, and is now made from cow’s milk. This cheese can be eaten alone or used in recipes for pizza, lasagna or the popular tomato salad Caprese.
For a real Caprese you need fresh buffalo mozzarella or Burata cheese, which is made from mozzarella and cream, but both types are difficult to find. That’s why mozzarella balls in packets are usually used.
Mascarpone is another wonderful cheese with a rich taste. It is creamy and is most often used for desserts. Not only the confectioners, but also the hosts in Bulgaria know that with his participation the most famous Italian dessert Tiramisu is prepared.
Pecorino cheese is made from sheep’s milk and there are two varieties – Romano and Tuscany. It is suitable to be combined with fruit, so it is often served with dessert.
Italian smoked and processed cheeses are also available on the market.
Italian sausages and prosciutto
Sausages and other delicacies meat products are also part of the Italian culinary tradition and are in great demand in our country.
Mortadela is a popular salami that originates from Bologna. It is made from selected pork, pieces of bacon, coriander seeds, salt, white pepper, black pepper, myrtle, nutmeg and other spices.
Mortadella can be with various additives such as pistachios, olives or peppers. Nowadays there are also varieties of salami with turkey and beef. Over the years, the Italian Mortadella has become very popular outside the borders of its homeland.
Not to mention another very famous Italian salami – Ventrichina (Ventrichina). It is prepared from pure pork, with the addition of bread, garlic, orange peel, sweet and hot peppers and rosemary. This salami is often used to garnish pizzas.
Prosciutto is a meat delicacy, very typical of Italian cuisine. The two main types, according to the production technology, are prosciutto crudo, which is raw dried, and prosciutto cotto, which is boiled and also made from salted pork leg, but pressed and boiled.
Among the most famous species of this remarkable specialty is Prosciutto di Parma. The pigs from which it is prepared are of a special breed and are bred only in 11 regions in northern and central Italy.
They eat corn and barley, and the rich taste of the meat is also due to the whey from the production of Parmigiano cheese, which is given to them. According to the producers, the climate is also an important factor for the delicate aroma and wonderful taste of the prosciutto.
The hind legs of pigs are first rubbed with salt and then dried for months. Other famous types of this meat delicacy are Prosciutto di Modena and Prosciutto San Daniele, which are a trademark of origin, protected in Italy and the EU. If prosciutto is used as part of the ingredients of dishes, it is added at the end of cooking.
This is not the end of the Italian products known in Bulgaria. The list is long and the quality is guaranteed. Apart from products, however, a lot of wines are used in Italian cuisine.
Each of the wine regions of Botusha, and they are 20 in number, is proud of its selection. In our market they can already to find many quality white and red wines that are an excellent accompaniment to good Mediterranean food.