Kyopolou is a typical eggplant appetizer and can be consumed as a breadspread, a condiment, or as a salad. During summer and autumn months, when its ingredients are usually readily available it is also a main dish in Bulgaria, mainly during orthodox fasting periods.
According to the dictionary of foreign words in Bulgarian the name Kyopolou comes from the Turkishköpekoğlu, which means "bastard".
The relish is popular in the Balkans in different variants and names (e.g. ajvar or pinđur). In Romanian cuisine it is called zacuscă—a word of Slavic origin (cf. Bulgarian and Russian zakuska), possibly pointing to the southern Bulgarian neighbours as the source.
It is generally prepared as a canned food, in glass jars, for the winter season. However, it is not unusual that it is prepared as a main dish. It generally consists of baked eggplant, onions, baked kapia red peppers, bell peppers, tomatoes or homemade tomato juice (which is made by boiling for thickening juice extracted from tomatoes, usually with added salt and/ or sugar), black pepper, laurel leaves and garlic. Some also add hot peppers, or extra black pepper. Taste can vary from light and sweet to hot and peppery. Chopped onion is sauteed in (usually) sunflower oil, then chopped bell peppers are added (preferably red), followed by eggplant and chopped or minced baked kapia peppers and finely minced tomatoes, tomato juice or tomato paste. Black peppers and laurel leaves are added for flavoring. It is usually oven cooked in pots or casseroles.
^English: Baba ghanoush (Arabic بابا غنوج bābā ghanūj). In Turkey this dish is colloquially called köpoğlu and in meze-serving fish restaurants it is a cold eggplant dish with tomato-red pepper paste in olive oil which gives it the red color. Речник на чуждите думи в българския език, Ал. Милев, Б. Николов, Й. Братков, Издателство Наука и изкуство, София, 1978.