FACTBOX: Festive winter recipes from Bulgaria
(Reuters) - Bulgaria's long tradition of "zimnina" or preserving food for the winter is a way to survive harsh times but also a bonding activity that reigns over the nation's culinary taste.
Here are some of the Balkan country's favorite recipes, part of its Christmas menu for centuries.
THE TSAR'S PICKLES
* Ingredients - red peppers, cauliflower or cabbage, carrots, celery, garlic, black pepper, bay leaf, vinegar, sugar, sea salt.
* Method - Chop all the vegetables and put them in jars. Add water, 6-7 tablespoons of vinegar per jar, black pepper, sea salt and sugar. Cap the jars tightly and leave in a bottom upward position for several days.
* Serving - Best served as appetizer with cooled or mulled home-made rakia brandy.
SAUERKRAUT ("KISELO ZELE")
* Ingredients - head cabbage, iodized salt or sea salt.
* Method - Carve out the stumps from the heads. Put salt in the holes. Place the cabbage into a keg and leave it without water for two days. Then pour in enough water to cover the heads. Stir the brine every day for a week to disperse the salt evenly. Put quinces in the keg to add flavor. Continued...