Plovdiv cuisine is delicious and unique, connoisseurs say, and it can't be any other way, as it has collected the best of the recipes of Turks, Armenians and Jews. We've already told you about the old pastry shops and forgotten pubs, but today we're taking you down memory lane to those delicacies that are rarely prepared under the hills anymore.
It was available at the iconic Nazam Hikmet or today's Turkish pastry shop Dzhumaya. According to those in the know, it was shredded chicken flavored with cinnamon and sugar, but some say it wasn't meat at all. It was developed in the kitchens of the Ottoman Palace and is one of the most popular Turkish desserts today.
Salep is a very popular drink believed to have been brought from the East during the Ottoman reign. It is a dry powder made from the tuber of an orchid (Orchis mascula) that blooms in forest meadows. It is prepared in a warm glass of water or milk and served sprinkled with cinnamon or ginger on top.
Known for its healing properties, it is rich in polysaccharides, proteins, fats and carbohydrates, especially useful for stomachaches and soothing sore throats. It also helps to clear secretions from the lungs as well as treat bronchitis, so it is usually served when temperatures are low to warm your body. Salep was offered in Nazam Hikmet and the famous Milk Bar, but also from street vendors.
With the onset of autumn, several pubs began to offer this specialty, so typical of our city. It is believed that the beginning was made in distant years and was the work of Topalcheto, in the Catholic neighborhood. Later, one of the most visited establishments that made them was Malkiya Bunardzik.
The bumbar was mentioned more than 100 years ago, and the older generation certainly remembers the iconic Bumbarnika pub. It was located on the site of the garden of the current Ramada Plovdiv Trimontcium hotel and attracted hundreds of connoisseurs of delicious offal and bumbars. Memories "say" that even visitors from Australia traveled, intoxicated by the glory of the Filibe specialty. Pampered food, requiring a long effort and great craftsmanship. Those initiated into its secret keep the recipe secret.
In the past, gevreks were eaten morning, noon and night. In Gyuro Mihailov's famous Armenian bakery, the plan was 5,000 pretzels per shift, which was not enough and queues of hungry people were constantly winding up in front.
Then over the years, many of us remember dozens of little booths on the streets selling boiled gevreks for pennies. We were all looking for the ones covered in the most sesame seeds. However, gradually, probably with the increase in their price, this type of snacks totally disappeared and today they can be found in very few places, but also with a totally different taste!