“Chili Peppers” and Bulgarian National Kitchen – between the Historical Reality and the Social Imagination Cover Image
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„Лютите чушки“ и българската национална кухня – между историческата реалност и социалното въображение
“Chili Peppers” and Bulgarian National Kitchen – between the Historical Reality and the Social Imagination

Author(s): Stefan Detchev
Subject(s): History
Published by: Асоциация Клио
Keywords: chili pepper; Bulgarian national kitchen; culinary symbol; social imagination

Summary/Abstract: The study demonstrates that by the middle of the 19th century in different culinary contexts, the pepper (chili) that appeared in the second half of the 18th century becomes significant for Bulgarians’ nutrition and kitchen. In the subsequent periods it will invariably keep this position which will establish a link between the last decades under the Ottoman rule, the period of the modern Bulgarian state until September 9th 1944, the times of the communist regime and the transition after November 10th 1989. Due to the gardening Bulgarians do abroad, as well as the wide use of the chilies in the kitchen, the culinary symbol becomes strong for both, foreigners and Bulgarians themselves. It also shows how the pungent occurs in some parts of Bulgaria just at the end of the 18th and in first decades of the 19th century, and becomes widely spread in the middle and the second half of the 19th century. Thanks to many it’s qualities and characteristics, as well as due to the variety of the ways it can be used, the pepper remains a constant symbol of Bulgaria (adopted not only at different social levels, but also in different periods and culinary contexts) and part of the experience of the national identity amongst the specialists in it cultivation. Feasibility and sustainability of the pepper or chili as national symbols shows in their presence in two different dishes, which are for both – consumers and nutrition and cooking specialist, expression of two different culinary philosophies – the beans and “shopska salad”.

  • Issue Year: 2013
  • Issue No: 1-2
  • Page Range: 59-107
  • Page Count: 49
  • Language: Bulgarian