Bulgarian Spaghetti

I was with much surprise to see what delights greeted me at the dinner table this warm but balmy evening in Yambol. Never a day goes by where something just does the opposite to what you think is going to happen.

Only yesterday, when doing our daily shopping, Galia asks, “Would you like spaghetti tomorrow evening for dinner? I never disagree with Galia in shops it is a dangerous route to take. So the answer given is a question, “Do you like spaghetti?”

We decide that spaghetti is the meal for the next day as it is put into the basket. The strange thing is I’ve never had spaghetti cooked for me before by Galia. The occasions before have been pasta spread with sugar to sweeten and eaten for breakfast. This pasta-based dish is a normal breakfast meal only second to a coffee and cigarette in Bulgaria.

The spaghetti was Bulgarian spaghetti bought not from National Bulgarian pride, but the decision based purely on price. The cheapest is best is the saying here.

My expectations as to how the spaghetti was to be turned into a meal were never in doubt. Galia had worked in Italy so she must be aware of the process of perhaps spaghetti bolognese. No more was thought about it unit the call to the kitchen table this evening.

There on the table was a small earthenware bowl of cooked spaghetti. That was it, a bowl of spaghetti on its own. In the middle of the table was chopped sausage, sirene (white goat cheese), mayonnaise, margarine and an open jar of tomato and pepper sauce.

It was a do it yourself spaghetti dish. I watched and copied in turn Galia who added the ingredients one by one on to the plain spaghetti. It took a good 5 minutes for all the components to be added and mixed; then the fun started.

As with all Bulgarian meals we have on this table, the sole eating utensil is usually a fork, or a spoon with soup dishes. Today the norm was again just a fork. The struggle to eat the meal was quite an episode, the call for a Bulgarian baby's bib was nearly made by all. Luckily, we were all had our eating clothing on so no clothing spoilt this evening. The most frustrating thing was that the food tasted so good it couldn't’t be shovelled in your mouth quick enough.

Why did I ever think that spaghetti would be cooked and served Italian style when I was in Bulgaria? Well it was Bulgarian spaghetti after all. This was better than any Italian spaghetti dish I’d had before. I had also deduced that the Bulgarian sirene added made all the difference.

If ever you buy spaghetti in Bulgaria, buy the Bulgarian make, it's just as good if not better then the Italian brands, fresher, obviously being local. Then of course, the result of being a local product means it's cheaper!