An Early Introduction to Bulgarian Shkembe Chorba

Bulgarian Tripe Soup (Shkembe Chorba) was first sampled a while ago in Yambol at 2:00 in the morning. This was after a very busy evening with Bulgarian friends eating, drinking, dancing followed on by more drinking, dancing and talking in a local nightclub. Just as I thought the nightclub scene was over and time to go home we zig-zagged our way a non stop bar and was presented with another round of beer and in addition of a round of tripe soup!?

It was a real mystery as to why tripe soup was ordered at the time until it was explained that this soup was a perfect remedy for heavy heads after drinking sessions usually drunk in the morning for the morning after the night before!

For starters tripe soup went out of fashion decades ago in the UK and after this session all I can say is they just don't know what they are missing over there now. This was the resurrection of a dish for me that I thought had disappeared of the face of the earth. How could I ever doubt that the Bulgarian would continue to surprise me with their taste and food fashion that always remains very much at the doorway to heaven.

Shkemba Chorba was enjoyed to the hilt with fresh bread (there is a bakery open 24 hours round the corner of this bar) after adding dried roughly ground chili peppers, garlic, vinegar and salt.

Such a simple dish that touches all corners of the tongue taste buds resulting in a clearer head and constitution to walk home to.

I may also add that at no time does the descriptive word 'Drunk' portray evenings like this. Bulgarians generally do not get drunk, just more merry as the evening turns into morning. The Bulgarian company, food, talk and dance help enormously.

Shkeme Chorba is based mainly on chopped up calf stomach lining cooking in a milk based liquid with garlic, vinegar and chili peppers as seasoning.

The recipe has been sourced from my Bulgarian partner Galia and has been published here, just look for the recipe menu: