Taste of the Old Mountains Stara Planina

My friends, I have a real treat to share with you today. I am a year late posting, but as this is winter and these are some good old stick to your ribs and keep you warm recipes, this post is right on time! Let me introduce your to the mouth watering tastes of Stara Planina. Join me for a virtual potluck brought to you by many mountain babas (grandmas) exploring the gastronomic heritage of the old mountains.

I was thrilled when a friend of mine invited me to an international event that showcased the most popular recipes of the region. These are the staple foods that graced the tables across the mountains that boarder Serbia and Bulgaria. This Serbian “soul food” keeps shepherds full while tending sheep and goats. This flavorful bouquet supplies the energy to complete challenging tasks of herding sheep or piling a haystack worthy of of little boy blue style nap!

These recipes are almost as old as the craggy peaks with that much depth of flavor. You cannot go wrong with any of these .

The day was overcast. The sky was spitting rain intermittently. As we walked up the building there was a bit of bustling outside. Some of the good stuff was being prepared alfresco! There was a corn meal mixed with cheese called belmuz. A kind gentleman was stirring the cauldron and handing out samples. What a delightful start!

Moving to the inside we were delighted to see the tables filled with a feast fit for a king, with recipes are almost as old as the hills Let’s start with the appetizers.

The ingredients for each of these recipes are homegrown, raised, or made in house from their own cows, milk, eggs. Village cheeses are popular. Making cheese is not a thing of the past. This art is alive and well. These local cheeses are used to create personal cheese balls that make scrumptious appetizers.

Swirling sandwiches and pastries are a visual and culinary delight. The snail style finger sandwiches are filling and varied in their ingredients.

Filo rose pastries melt in your mouth with each buttery crispy bite.

My favorite dish is stewed cabbage and ham! Choice bits of pink pork with flavorful fatty bits cooked soft in a huge pot infusing each bite. Just the thought instigates a pool of saliva that left unchecked could create dog style drool! It is that good.

I encourage you to watch the videos in English or not. They may inspire you to try your hand at one or create your own mouth watering dish. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCP2SXBABFmJccT9iIWJpuZQ/videos

Visit their Facebook page for more ideas and links that may boost your culinary creations. This is the PERFECT TIME! Get too it!

https://www.facebook.com/ukusstareplanine/

My desire is for you to be inspired to come visit and taste these stellar meals first hand in this breath taking land. I love this place. You will too.

For the record, I make no profit off of this post. It is not sponsored or encouraged by anyone. It is solely inspired by my love of Serbia, it people, culture, and food. Come visit!

Babin Zub 365-43

Grandmother’s tooth known as Babin Zub  is a Ski resort about an hour away. Lots of people from our town work there. They go up for a week and then have a break and go back up again.

One of my friends has taken some gorgeous pics.

This one is my favorite.

Craggy snow-covered cliffs followed by the soft teddy bear looking furs just beyond. In the distance the snaking mountain road that climbs up to the resort is visible in the middle of the snowy  rooftop.

Stara Planina or Old Mountain is a lush gorgeous place to visit in the summer and a wonderland in the winter. This range stretches across Serbia and Bulgaria.  This is part of the Alp-Himalayan chain of mountains that spans most of Europe and Asia.

I have heard that wild horses run free here and most of the largest mammals in Europe can be found here. There are bears, wolves, chamois, boar, and of course deer.

Another top of the Balkan world vista

All sorts of wonderful plants group up there. I read that Edelweiss can be found and I hope to see them in person one day. I love the song named for the beautiful little white flowers. I played it over and over as a child after watching The Sound of Music. Now I sing it as I rock my baby to sleep.

Frosted trees sleeping in the sun

I haven’t been up there this winter. I am not sure if I will make it til next winter. But I love looking at the pics  my friend Lukic takes.

He sent me a link that has tons of info about the mountains and the resort. Click Here if you are interested in seeing more.

Thank you Lukic for letting me use your pics!

Dobar Dan