FoodDiscover the bold flavours of Bulgarian chubritsa

Discover the bold flavours of Bulgarian chubritsa

Spices have a huge impact on the flavour of any dish.
Spices have a huge impact on the flavour of any dish.
Images source: © Adobe Stock

26 June 2024 16:09

This spice is a hallmark of Bulgarian cuisine. It adds flavour and aroma to many dishes and is even used on sandwiches. Do you know chubritsa? If not, it's worth changing that. Here's what you need to know about this spice, as it is still relatively unknown.

Anyone who has holidayed in Bulgaria has likely encountered Chubritsa. Bulgarians use it frequently. However, you don't need to leave home to try it. You can buy it at any grocery store.

Do you know summer savory?

True Chubritsa is simply summer savoury. Sometimes, it is substituted with winter savoury, which is much less intense. Therefore, when buying Chubritsa, it's worth considering this. Summer savoury is almost as sharp as pepper and has an intense aroma. It is a well-known plant in the Mediterranean region from the mint family and is related to winter savoury. Winter savoury contains significantly fewer tannins and essential oils, making it milder. Winter savoury is also cultivated in the UK and can be planted in a pot on a balcony. Under the name Chubritsa, it's not always just savoury. Sometimes, it's a mix of herbs.

Ready-made mixes

Stores offer dried savoury or mixes with other spices. The popular mixes are green Chubritsa and red Chubritsa. The former is milder and contains savoury, garlic, green pepper, sea salt, and loveage. It's suitable for sandwiches, cucumbers, tomatoes, cottage cheese, butter, and salads, especially those with feta, raw salads, and sauces, as well as scrambled eggs, chicken soup, casseroles, and pizza.

Various choices

Red Chubritsa gives dishes a bold, even spicy flavour. It contains savoury garlic, pepper, chilli, sweet paprika, onion, rosemary, and sea salt. It works well with meats, tomatoes and cucumbers, ratatouille, various vegetarian dishes, stews and sauces, but also sandwiches, toasts, cottage cheese, and eggs with mayonnaise.

Less famous is yellow Chubritsa, which owes its colour to turmeric and curry. It also contains fenugreek, sea salt, parsley root, and garlic. This spice is primarily recommended for vegetables – raw and baked, other vegetarian dishes, cottage cheese and cheeses, soups, meats, and sauces.

Other mixes of Chubritsa can also be found in stores, such as white or grey. However, if you have savoury, you can easily create your mix. Add paprika, rosemary, black pepper, chilli, fenugreek, granulated garlic, or salt.

Ideal for meats and legumes

Chubritsa improves flavour. It also has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties and aids digestion, which is why it is used in natural medicine. It stimulates the production of gastric juice, benefiting digestion and easing bloating. Therefore, it is worth adding it to fatty meat dishes and those with legumes. Importantly, it also supports liver function.

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