Ajvar is a Serbian roasted eggplant-capsicum mixture, sometimes referred to as vegetarian caviar. It can be mashed or left chunky, depending on personal taste, and served as a relish, vegetable or spread on country-style white bread like pogacha as an appetiser. Its smoky flavour is a great match for grilled or roasted meats, especially lamb.
Bulgarian cuisine is a representative of the cuisine of Southeastern Europe. Essentially South Slavic, it shares characteristics with other Balkans cuisines. Owing to the relatively warm climate and diverse geography affording excellent growth conditions for a variety of vegetables, herbs and fruits, Bulgarian cuisine is diverse. Famous for its rich salads required at every meal, Bulgarian cuisine is also noted for the diversity and quality of dairy products and the variety of Bulgarian wines and local alcoholic drinks such as rakia, mastika and menta. Bulgarian cuisine features also a variety of hot and cold soups, an example of a cold soup being tarator. There are many different Bulgarian pastries as well such as banitsa.
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Bulgarian cooking traditions are diverse because of geographical factors such as climatic conditions suitable for a variety of vegetables, herbs and fruit. Aside from the vast variety of local Bulgarian dishes, Bulgarian cuisine shares a number of dishes with the Greek, Middle Eastern, and Italian cuisines.
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Tarator is a cold summer soup made of yoghurt and cucumbers. It is served chilled. Local variations may replace yoghurt with water and vinegar, omit nuts or dill, or add bread. The cucumbers may on rare occasions be replaced with lettuce or carrots.
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