Girl Meets Bulgaria

Musings of an American expat in Bulgaria (with detours in Utah and Alaska)

My Tastebuds Are Confused!


I love food.

Unfortunately, my waistline is clear proof of this!

While I truly enjoy Bulgarian food–and my MIL’s cooking in particular–after a month or so living in Bulgaria, I really started to crave foods from home. By month three, I was already planning out the meals I would enjoy when I got back to Salt Lake City.

I am sure this is completely normal for most new expats (at least the fat kid expats like me!). Having been to Bulgaria once before, I knew what to expect (or not expect, as the case may be) as far as the cuisine was concerned.

For instance, I now know (and begrudgingly accept) that pizza in Bulgaria is its own special concoction of ingredients. Pizza is one of my favorite foods, so going to Bulgaria and not finding anything that I liked was a disappointment. Making our own homemade pizza was the only way to get around this, and now we rarely eat in any pizza restaurants. I just can’t get over the “popular” Bulgarian pizza toppings: corn, cut up hot dogs, cream cheese, pickles, etc.

Besides plain ol’ pepperoni pizza (with mozzarella, NOT Bulgarian “yellow cheese”) on thin crust, some other cravings that hit hard during my three months in BG include: Mexican (which I don’t really care for that much at home–weird), Cheetos (the Puff variety), sandwiches of any kind, and salads chock full of different veggies.

The funny thing is, since I have been home I haven’t really eaten most of it. And the few things I have had, I really did not enjoy. I no longer crave those things I missed for months in Bulgaria.

I guess it just comes down to wanting things that I cannot have. And now that I have them available to me, I have no desire.

In fact, my first meal at a restaurant since I have been back was so salty I could barely finish it. I have found that to be the case with most foods I have had since arriving home. Clearly I am not used to so much salt as Bulgarian food contains so little (at least the foods my MIL made).

My MIL made every single meal we ate in Bulgaria from scratch: bean soup, lentil soup, patatnik, kufteta, salads, etc. Heck, even her donuts were fresh from the fryer.

While I didn’t lose as much weight as I expected I would these past three months; I did lose a few pounds and felt much healthier overall. Really what I benefited from–thanks to my husband’s lovely mother–was an abundance of fresh, homemade, nutritious, and delicious food. These things beat the packaged and processed foods prevalent in America any day.

The past few days, I have found myself looking up Bulgarian recipes online. I think at some point this month I will try my hand at patatnik and at least one other dish.

Clearly I am {again} pining for the things I cannot have. But the difference now is that I am comfortable enough with the grocery stores here to go and buy the things I need to cook certain meals. Oh, and I have a kitchen to myself; not like our apartment in BG, which was my MIL’s domain.

Can you tell I am already really missing Bulgaria?

I will be sure to write posts on any dishes I actually get around to making.

Hoping you are all having a fantastic weekend!



5 thoughts on “My Tastebuds Are Confused!

  1. Pingback: 2012: A Year in Review « Girl Meets Bulgaria

  2. I also have a list of food I will eat when I get back home. And I can totally see missing Swedish food once I get there, so I can understand where you are coming from- it does seem confusing!! Good luck with cooking the Bulgerian food!

  3. În primul rând mi-au plăcut mult florile prezentate în 3 aprilie.
    Referindu-mă la păţaniile prin care aţi trecut în Bulgaria trebuie să spun că fiecare ţară este cu bucătăria ei şi cu specificul legat de gustul bucătarilor. Din câte am citit cum se face pitzza în Bulgaria trebuie să spun că nici la noi nu se face cu murături. Se face de regulă cu brânză (caşcaval), salam, şuncă, ciuperci dar şi cu porumb sau ce le mai place altora. Unele mâncări sunt pipărate, altele sărate şi aici intervine gustul fiecărui consumator.

    Să aveţi o duminică plăcută şi mâncare după plac.

  4. I agree with you about food in other countries, there are some things that I am craving like crazy from America. I would do almost anything for a thick, rare hamburger, a rack of ribs with mustard-based bbq sauce, a deep-dish pizza, or any variety of Sam Adams beer. When I first moved to Taiwan, I lost about 20 pounds, but my body got used to the change of diet and adjusted itself, which means the weight loss plateaued. With the salt, I found the exact opposite in Taiwan. Everything here is loaded with salt, and I don’t like salt. It’s unavoidable, so I just had to get used to it. Love the blog!

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