Sirene (Bulgarian: сирене), officially called the "white
brine sirene" is a type of brine cheese made in South-Eastern Europe, especially
popular in Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia and other Balkan countries.
was originally made of goat's milk, but the predominant variation today is made
of the cheaper cow's milk, sheep milk or a combination of milks. It is slightly
crumbly with a fat content of about 40-45%. It is commonly produced in blocks,
and has a slightly grainy texture. It is used as a table cheese, as well as in
salads and in baking.
Sirene, together with yoghurt, is a national food of all the countries in
Balkans. Many Bulgarians, Serbs, Croats, Macedonians and Greeks regularly eat
some sirene or yoghourt in some form.
One of the traditional
dishes using sirene is
made with tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, onions and sirene.
Tomatoes with sirene is a traditional light salad during the summer.
Sirene and products for preparation of Shopska salad.
There is also a popular kind of boiled eggs over mashed
sirene with a sauce of yogurt, garlic, parsley and walnuts (€йца по панагюрски;
eggs a la Panagyurishte).