Shopska salad

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Shopska salad
Shopska salad as served in Bulgaria
Alternative namesBulgarian salad
Place of originBulgaria, Bulgarian Black Sea Coast, Druzhba resort[1]
Region or stateBalkan peninsula
Main ingredientsTomatoes, cucumbers, onions, peppers, sirene

Shopska salad, also known as Bulgarian salad[2] (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.[3][4][5] It is made from tomatoes, cucumbers, onion/scallions, raw or roasted peppers, sirene (white brine cheese), and parsley.[6][7]

The vegetables are usually diced and salted, followed by a light dressing of sunflower oil (or olive oil, which is less authentic[8]), 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 ca. 1955 in a Black Sea resort near Varna, called Druzhba.[9][10] It is a product of early socialism in Bulgaria, and part of tourist promotion,[11] the only survivor of five or six similar recipes.[12] 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.[13] It was approved as a national culinary symbol during the 1970s and 1980s.[14] From Bulgaria the recipe spread to the kitchens of neighboring countries. Because the area of Shopluk is divided among Bulgaria, Serbia and North Macedonia, chefs in North 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.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dining in Utopia: A Taste of the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast under Socialism. Mary Neuburger. Winter 2017, Vol. 17 No. 4, (pp. 48-60) DOI: 10.1525/gfc.2017.17.
  2. ^ Abel Polese et al. as editors; Informal Nationalism After Communism: The Everyday Construction of Post-Socialist Identities, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2018, ISBN 1838608745, p. 156.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ Food Cultures of the World Encyclopedia, Ken Albala, ABC-CLIO, 2011, ISBN 0313376263, p. 67.
  5. ^ Mangia Bene! New American Family Cookbooks, Kate DeVivo, Capital Books, 2002, ISBN 1892123851, p. 170.
  6. ^ Simple Treasures in Bulgaria, Martin Miller-Yianni, Martin Miller-Yianni, 2008, p. 11.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 15, 2012. Retrieved November 21, 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ Zhang, Jenny. "Shopska Salad: A Bulgarian Necessity". Organically Blissful. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  9. ^ The original recipe for the Salad was invented and established in 1954-55 in the restaurant "Chernomorets" in the resort "St. St. Constantine and Helena" ("Druzhba" 1957 - 1992). This was reported to the Bulgarian National Radio Petar Doychev, called "Doyen of Bulgarian Tourism". He started working in the industry in 1948 and reached the head of the Housing and Means Department of the Tourism Committee. He is the winner of the Stara Planina Order, an honorary citizen of Burgas and Varna. Шопската салата била "изобретена" от "Балкантурист" през 1955 г., твърди експерт. В-к Дневник онлайн, 30 дек. 2018 г.
  10. ^ Per Petar Doychev, at that time he and his colleagues were assembled in the restaurant "Chernomorets" by the leadership of the resort and it was said: "Think about something new, we can not offer only several salads to the guests." The chefs brought different products and began to offer variants for a new salad - fresh vegetables: cucumber, tomatoes, peppers, onions, parsley, chopped cheese etc. But it turned out that the offer was the so called "Thracian salad". It was needed some other variation. The chefs suggested: "First, we will make the peppers baked! Secondly, the cheese will be grated, not chopped." Anything else? - asked the leadership. Everyone was silent. And I saw a hot pepper on the table, and as I was satting, I picked it up and put it in the grated cheese, in the middle of the project of the new salad, and said: "Here, let the Shopi in Sofia, rejoice!" And the cooks clapped their hands and said, "Come on, let's it be called a Shopska salad!" So I became its godfather. СУ „Св. Климент Охридски”, „Антропология на Храненето”, Бистра Стоименова, „Шопска ли е шопската салата–или за флуидността на балканската кухня“, София, 2017.
  11. ^ Raymond Detrez, Historical Dictionary of Bulgaria, 3rd ed, 2015, ISBN 978-1-4422-4179-4, p. 451
  12. ^ That Salad was created by professional chefs from "Balkanturist" in 1956 at the restaurant "Chernomorets" in the then resort "Druzhba", now "Saint Konstantnin and Elena" near Varna, Bulgaria. For the first time the salad recipe appeared in 1956 in a "Book of the hostess" of P. Cholcheva and Al.Ruseva and it contained all the components of today Shopska except the cheese. In the following years, there were undergoing series of modifications to the recipe - in 1970 in the book "Recipe for cooking and confectionery" were given four options for Shopska salad - with onion and cheese; without onion and cheese; with roasted peppers and cheese; not sweet, but with chili pepper and cheese. In the early 1970s, roasted peppers and grated cheese were imposed as a mandatory components. Initially the salad was served only in restaurants of "Balkanturist" and later it became popular in the home kitchens in the country. It became a national culinary symbol in Bulgaria during the 1970s and 1980s. For more see: Albena Shkodrova, Socialist gourmet, Janet 45, Sofia, 2014, ISBN 9786191860906, pp. 260-261.
  13. ^ в-к "Монитор", Шопската салата забъркана в „Балкантурист”, Паулина Йоргова, 21.03.2012.
  14. ^ Шкодрова, Албена: Соц гурме. Куриозната история на кухнята в НРБ, София, изд. Жанет 45, 2014 г., с.260.
  15. ^ Europost, Weekly for politics, business and culture, 23 May, 2014, Shopska salad wins European vote.