The mountainous resort of Bansko in the Pirin mountain receives around 500,000 tourists at average annually. During the different seasons here you will meet English, Irish, Germans, Austrians, French, Greeks, Armenians, Israeli, Arabs, tourists even from remote Australia and the United States, etc.
This variety of culinary traditions, tastes, and preferences of the guests have evolved the cookery in Bansko into a real art, attraction, fiesta, for gastronomes from around the world. The local Bansko cuisine is unique and will provide you with great pleasure; you can choose dishes, traditional for Bulgaria; international cuisine, Japanese, Armenian, Turkish, Greek, Mediterranean, pubs, etc. In addition to this, here you will find in the same place and can enjoy it, the most popular cuisine and dishes in the world, like the Italian culinary, the Swiss Fondue, the French alpine cuisine. All that will turn your holiday in Bansko into a true culinary journey.
From the stewed Bansko dishes, it is sufficient to mention even only the Kapama, which surprises all the tourists. It is very tasty and it combines several types of meat – chicken, pork, veal and black pudding; it is made with sauerkraut and a particular type of beetroot from the region, and spices. Among the famous appetizers from the region are the typical Black pudding and the Bansko ‘sudzhuk’ (flat dry-cured sausage). The so-called ‘karvavitsa’ (black pudding) is made of large pieces of pork and veal, mixed with edible offals – spleen, heart, kidneys, lung, filled in thick intestines and left to dry. Lots of spices are used, which complement the specific taste: dill, cumin, leek, black pepper, salt and the typical pot-herb produced only in this region. It is consumed at a specific technological stage before it has become completely dry, and it will be served to you fried or grilled. The ‘sudzhuk’ (flat sausage) is made in a similar way but only pork, liver and hearts are selected and used in its preparation.
Though it is a Bulgarian mountain resort, in Bansko you can taste the diversity of one of the most famous in the world cuisines – the Italian one, made according to authentic recipes. Here you will enjoy the true taste of the Italian salads, soups, hors-d’oeuvres, pasta, risotto, pizzas, main meat dishes and main fish dishes, sauces, desserts. For a full authenticity, in restaurant Leonardo in Bansko, only genuine Italian products and spices are used, which are delivered by traditional producers. It is not by chance, that the Italian cuisine is popular in all continents. During the centuries, its culinary traditions have “absorbed” the different national culinary practices. During the invasions, in separate parts of today’s Italy, there was the presence of Greeks, Arabs, Spanish, Austrians and Hungarians, and French. This has created a mixture of cultures and specificity of the cookery in the Italian regions. Even the same dish can have different variants in the different parts of the country. Each of them is a temptation with unique flavours and aromatic qualities, which are worth trying.
In Bansko, you can taste the authentic Fondue as well – the token of the Swiss cuisine. The classic variant combines the tastes and flavours of different types of cheese and white wine. This is done by melting the cheeses in warmed wine until it becomes like a cream. Traditionally, two types of cheese are used. They could be several but it requires a craftsmanship to achieve a combination rather than suppressing the tastes and flavours. For the flavouring and the bouquet of flavours, garlic, cumin, dill, pepper, nutmeg, mustard, fruit brandy are used. The dish is kept warm on an open fire, on the dining table, and, in the same pot, everybody dips morsels by special forks. Apart from the classical Fondue, in Bansko, one can try the-more-advanced variants as well – Restaurant Fondue also offers it both with fat, in which, the thin slices of meat or fish are fried a little, and with broth, in which the meat boils for a short time; it also offers chocolate Fondue with fruit – strawberries, apple, bananas, raspberries, kiwi, and pears.