Shopska salad – the most popular salad in Europe!

The origin of the Shopska salad is still the subject of the debate, but one thing is for sure, the salad is an irresistible contribution to meat dishes from the grill. Chili peppers, feta cheese, young sheep cheese or something else – just as long as cucumbers are in it, just follow your taste.

The Shopska salad is a common dish in Balkan (especially Serbian, Bulgarian, Macedonian and Greek cuisine).

Shopska salad is a traditional Bulgarian salad, originating from the surroundings of Sofia.

It is a national version of mixed salads based on tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers, as is usual in other countries around the Black Sea: Choriatiki in Greece, pastoral salad in Turkey, or Şəki-salatı in Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, and Russia.

The name comes from the name of the Bulgarian tribe of Shopi who live near Sofia, from which came the adjective of Shopska. The main ingredients of salad are tomatoes, cucumbers, raw or baked peppers, onion, parsley, salt, lemon juice or vinegar, oil and salted cheese.

Vegetables are usually cut into small cubes, then added salt, sunflower oil or olive oil, which is supplemented with vinegar. Besides vinegar sour taste of the salad come from tomatoes too. In restaurants, usually vinegar is served separately, so you can add it as much as you like. Finally, diced cubes of white cheese are added. This salad is usually served as an appetizer with a traditional alcoholic drink, schnapps – rakija.


Although the name of the salad comes from the Shopska region, the salad was in 1960. got a real tourist promotion.  The reason why the Shopska salad became popular only in this period is the result of early Bulgarian socialism. In this system, only five to six traditional Bulgarian dishes were survived. During that period, the bosses from neighboring countries offered tourists new-made salads, which included the Dobrudzha, Macedonian, ribbon, and several salads bearing the name associated with different ethnographic regions. But in the end, only the Shopska salad was survived from all the recipes. During the 70s and 80s, this food became the national culinary symbol of Bulgaria. From this country, the recipe has expanded to other countries around the world. As the Shopska region is part of Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia, chefs from Macedonia and Serbia began to eat and challenge their Bulgarian origins. This is also evidenced by the name of this meal in the Romanian-Bulgarian salad. In 2014, Shopska salad became the most recognizable Bulgarian dish in Europe.

Shopska salad is a real treasure trove of vitamins and energy bomb. One small tip – it is recommended that vegetables are kept in the refrigerator before cutting because this salad is tastier when it’s cold, and therefore ideal for spring and summer.

The most popular salad in Europe!

Interestingly, in 2014 Shopska salad is voted the most popular in Europe. Namely, the Shopska salad won the most votes in the “Tastes of Europe” competition and thus won. Citizens from all over Europe could vote. Bulgaria’s Shopska salad was nominated, and about 20,000 people voted for it. The second place was taken by Lithuanian beet soup and the third Romanian sarma. 28 countries competed with their specialties, but the Shopska salad won a convincing victory by almost 15,000 votes in front of the second-placed candidate.

Shopska salad for Ginis’s

Several chefs and students of the Vanco Pitoshevski Catering School from the Macedonian city of Ohrid entered the Ginis’s book of records after they made a salad of 202 kilograms and 86 grams.

Initiative for making a huge salad in the Macedonian city was initiated by several cooks with students of the catering school, and the Municipality of Ohrid supported them. The main cook Dimitar Arnaudowski says that only Macedonian products were used for the salad.

Recipe for homemade shopska salad


Wash tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers. Peel the cucumber and cut lengthwise into quarters and horizontally thin. Tomato cut into smaller pieces, and pepper to thin circles. Season to taste, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil and stir all well. Mash cheese with fork and sprinkle from above salads.

2 tomatoes
1 medium cucumber
2 fresh peppers
100 g of hard cheese
1 teaspoon of olive oil

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