The “Sharena Sol” (Mixed Salt) has always been a great part of Bulgarian history and customs as throughout various receptions what you’re kindly encouraged to take is a piece of round loaf that you dip into a stack of salt/mixed salt. Both the bread and the salt have their universal meaning: sharing bread shows your well-intention towards the guest & salt helps to dispel bad forces. The tradition itself has Slavic roots and is also being practiced in Russia, Ukraine, Macedonia, Croatia, Serbia, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania and Lithuania. What you should remember, is to always accept the offered bread and salt as this is a sign of a shared respect.
You can see different ingredients in a jar of Mixed Salt, but the most typical ones are dried summer savory (Satureja hortensis), paprika (Capsicum annuum), fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum), thyme (Tymus serpyllorum), table salt, pepper and roasted ground corn seed. Additional ingredients can be roasted pumpkin seeds, hot pepper, ground garlic, oregano, dried dill, parsley or basil leaves.
No matter what component is used, one thing is sure:
The moment you try the mixed salt, you will immediately fall in love with it. In the begging, you will start with a few sprinkles in your breakfast and the more you use it, the less you’re willing to give it up. There might be times when you find yourself pouring every meal you eat with this mixed salt. At the end, you will be thinking how to get your hands on the next jar of Mixed Salt.
To begin with, we propose a few recipes that include Mixed Salt and you can do them in less than 10 minutes. The easiest, most delicious and universal dish would be the “filia s sharena sol” (a slice of bread with mixed salt) for breakfast or afternoon snack. You cut one slice of bread and spread butter on it. Finally, you sprinkle a lot of Mixed Salt on the bread and enjoy your morning! Of course, if you’re in Bulgaria, you should definitely complement your meal with “kiselo mlyako” (yogurt) to make sure your start of the day is as fresh as possible. You can read more about the “kiselo mlyako” here.
The next recipe is “purlenka” (singed bread). It is a bit tougher than the first one, but it won’t take much time. Firstly, dissolve 20 gr of yeast into 100 ml of water and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Sift 280 gr white and 420 gr of whole grain wheat. Make a “valley” in the wheat and put 250 ml water, 100 ml oil, a teaspoon of salt and the water with yeast. Knead the soft dough and leave it to well-risen for about 20 minutes. After that, from the dough you roll out small loafs and fry them in a heated pan with a few drops of oil. When you turn the singed bread to the other side, you coat it with a mixture of butter, garlic and mixed salt. Voila! Bon appetite!