Shopska salad (Bulgarian: Шопска салата) is a
traditional Bulgarian cold salad, popular throughout the Balkans. It is made
from tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, raw or roasted peppers (preferably roasted),
and sirene (white brine cheese).
Left: A Bulgarian
The vegetables are usually diced and salted, followed by a
light dressing of sunflower oil or olive oil, which are occasionally
complemented by vinegar. The addition of vinegar only contributes, however, to
the sour flavor 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. In areas where sirene cheese is unavailable,
may be used as a substitute. This salad is often consumed as an appetizer with
for the salad.
Shopska salad derives its name from the regional group called
Shopi living in
areas of Bulgaria, Serbia and the Republic of Macedonia. The Shopi of Bulgaria
are credited with developing the original recipe, hence the name.