Artisanal Trahana

Vegetables and vegetable preserves - Bulgaria

Trahana are small flat cakes that are stored dried and then cooked into a gruel that is served for breakfast. The preparation starts with a puree of fruit and vegetables. Any kind of fruit or vegetable grown from September to October can be used, including tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, carrots, onion, apples, pears, quince, and plums. The chosen ingredients are cooked in water to create a puree, to which dill is added. After cooling, yeast and wheat flour are added to create a dough. The dough is left to rest for three days and is kneaded two or three times per day. Then, small flat cakes are prepared from the dough and are dried and broken into pieces. Before being consumed, the trahana is soaked overnight in water. The next day, the mixture is stirred with a wire whisk, and fat and red pepper powder are heated to a boil and poured over the trahana mixture to obtain a porridge-like dish. This stays covered for several minutes before being served as a breakfast dish. Before the introduction of canning and freezing, drying was the only way to preserve fruits and vegetables. Trahana was easy to prepare and supplied vitamins during the winter months. Trahana is widely used in the Kotel municipality of Bulgaria, but can also be found in other parts of the country. The addition of different herbs to the trahana dough varies from village to village and family to family. Trahana is a product traditionally made only for home consumption. With modern day food preservation methods, the practice of making trahana is falling out of favor with younger generations.