About Greeks, Thracians And Bulgarian Cheese

Far away on the Balkan Peninsula there live three nations forming a syncretic culture –Bulgarians, Greek and Turkish. We’ve been here for ages, sometimes fighting, sometimes living in peace, and no doubt have a lot in common.
But before 2500 years Balkan Peninsula belonged to Thracians. Tall and stout, with brown hair and green eyes, they had enormous physical strength and were famous for their longevity….if not killed on the battle field. Lovers of wine, music and poetry, Thracians believed we enter afterlife with our physical bodies to join one eternal party. May be this is the reason for their confusing bravery, as these people were thinking of death with no grief, but with joyful expectation.
When coming to Balkan Peninsula ancient Greeks found the boisterous fests and mysteries of Thracians and their Gods. Liked them, renamed them and….voila Zeus and his merry company at Olymp. Greeks also told the famous legend about greatest singer of all times – Orpheus, whose voice could calm even the wildest beasts. Actually Orpheus was Thracian king and religious leader, but more about him you can read in another story.
Thracians celebrated the so called Dionycas Mysteries dedicated to the God of wine Dyonisos. Some of the rituals, like fire-dancing and cutting the young wines in February, survived the centuries and are real attraction.
Here is one recipe that will remind you of these famous people
Cheese ala Thracians
1. 200 gr. Bulgarian (Greek) cheese
2. 200 gr. yellow cheese
3. 200 gr. ham
4. 250 gr. mushrooms
5. 1 onion
6. 2 eggs
7. 2 tomatoes
8. 50 gr. butter
9. Savory and parsley
Cut parsley and onion in small pieces. Slice the mushrooms, Bulgarian (Greek) cheese, yellow cheese and tomatoes. Pour some melted butter on the bottom of small earthenware pan with a lid (You can use any small, heat resistant glass cup with a lid) and add part of the onion. Arrange some slices of cheese and on top of it add the mushrooms. Put another row of cheese and add the tomatoes. Over the last row of cheese add the remaining onion, some slices of yellow cheese, savory and parsley. Sprinkle with finely cut slices of ham. Put the lid and bake at 300 degrees for 15 mins. Remove the lid and add one egg and some grated yellow cheese. Bake 5 more mins.
Serve hot with red wine.
mayaangpetrova mayaangpetrova
41-45, F
Dec 10, 2012