Pasta - Bulgaria
Omach is type of handmade pasta found in the area of Chernichevo in the Eastern Rhodope, in southern Bulgaria. The product is made from wheat flour and water. After mixing the dough, it is pinched and rolled between the hands until unevenly shaped, small, bite-sized pieces (about 1-2 cm) are formed. The pasta can then be used fresh or dried for later use. The name comes from the word омачквам, which is the local word meaning “to knead” or “puddle.” Omach is related to trienica/триеница (which comes from the word трия meaning “rub”), a similar product popular in the Thracian Valley and Ludogorie region. Omach is typically served in a type of stew with water, olive or sunflower oil or butter, onion, red pepper powder and salt. White brined cheese and bread may also be added. Omach, along with other forms of pasta, has been a staple food in Bulgaria for centuries. It was traditional prepared as Lenten fare, as well as in poor times as breakfast or as the main dish of the day. Cooking dishes into hot soups, stews or gruel was the typical Bulgarian way of cooking pastas and flours in medieval times. Today, omach is still not sold commercially, and is mainly prepared for personal or family use. It is being replaced, however, by industrially made and imported pastas. The traditional product is regarded as old-fashioned and looked down upon, especially by younger generations.