Shopska salad

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Shopska salad
Shopska salad bg.JPG
Shopska salad as served in Bulgaria
Alternative namesBulgarian salad
Place of originBulgaria
Region or stateBalkan peninsula
Main ingredientsTomatoes, cucumbers, onions, peppers, sirene

Shopska salad, also known as Bulgarian salad (Bulgarian, Macedonian, and Serbian Cyrillic: Шопска салата; Bosnian and Croatian: Šopska salata; Romanian: Salata bulgărească; Czech: Šopský salát; Polish: Sałatka szopska; Albanian: Sallatë Shope; Hungarian: Sopszka saláta), is a Bulgarian cold salad popular throughout the Balkans and Central Europe.[1][2][3] It is made from tomatoes, cucumbers, onion/scallions, raw or roasted peppers, sirene (white brine cheese), and parsley.[4][5]

The vegetables are usually diced and salted, followed by a light dressing of sunflower oil (or olive oil, which is less authentic[6]), 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.


Though the salad's name comes from the region called Shopluk, in fact, it was invented in the 1960s as part of a tourist promotion.[7] It is a product of early socialism in Bulgaria, the only survivor of five or six recipes. At the time, leading chefs from Balkantourist 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.[8] It was approved as a national culinary symbol during the 1970s and 1980s.[9] From Bulgaria the recipe spread to the kitchens of neighboring countries. Because the area of Shopluk is divided among Bulgaria, Serbia and Macedonia, chefs in Macedonia and Serbia began later to contest the Bulgarian origin of the salad. It is widespread also in Romania under the name Bulgarian salad. In 2014 Shopska salad turned out to be Bulgaria's most recognisable dish in Europe. It was the most popular recipe in a European Parliament initiative called A Taste of Europe.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Culinary Cultures of Europe: Identity Diversity And Dialogue, Stephen Mennell, Darra J. Goldstein, Kathrin Merkle, Fabio Parasecoli, Council of Europe, 2005, ISBN 9287157448, p. 101.
  2. ^ Food Cultures of the World Encyclopedia, Ken Albala, ABC-CLIO, 2011, ISBN 0313376263, p. 67.
  3. ^ Mangia Bene! New American Family Cookbooks, Kate DeVivo, Capital Books, 2002, ISBN 1892123851, p. 170.
  4. ^ Simple Treasures in Bulgaria, Martin Miller-Yianni, Martin Miller-Yianni, 2008, p. 11.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 15, 2012. Retrieved November 21, 2012.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ Zhang, Jenny. "Shopska Salad: A Bulgarian Necessity". Organically Blissful. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  7. ^ Raymond Detrez, Historical Dictionary of Bulgaria, 3rd ed, 2015, ISBN 978-1-4422-4179-4, p. 451
  8. ^ в-к "Монитор", Шопската салата забъркана в „Балкантурист”, Паулина Йоргова, 21.03.2012.
  9. ^ Шкодрова, Албена: Соц гурме. Куриозната история на кухнята в НРБ, София, изд. Жанет 45, 2014 г., с.260.
  10. ^ Europost, Weekly for politics, business and culture, 23 May, 2014, Shopska salad wins European vote.