Signature Dish

Shopska salad
Signature Dish

Enjoy the authentic Bulgarian flavour with our Signature Dish “Shopska salad” at Come Prima Restaurant.

It not only represents the spirit of the hotel’s local region, but also reflects the company philosophy of being surprisingly daring in creating traditions and memorable experiences.

The salad is most often consumed as an appetiser in perfect combination with the hotel’s signature drink—Rakia (similar to the Italian grappa). Rakia is the traditional drink of Bulgaria. It is a clear alcoholic beverage made from the distillation of fermented fruits. There are different types of Rakia, all depending on what fruit it is made from—grapes, plums, apricots, pears, apples, cherries, figs or quinces. In Bulgaria, the most popular Rakia is made from grape.

The Legend

The colours of the salad ingredients are perfectly consistent with the landscape of the country.

The White Cheese symbolises the snowy peaks of the Bulgarian mountains, the green cucumbers reflect the virgin green Bulgarian forests, while the red tomatoes and peppers represent both themselves and, together with the onion, the famous Bulgarian red and pink (respectively) roses, cultivated in one of the most fertile lands in the region: the Bulgarian valleys.

 The History

In the beginning of the 20th century, ripe tomatoes were underestimated and rarely used as a cooking ingredient throughout the country because they were considered bad for the health. That is why when raw versions of the salad first emerged in the mid-1950s, they were considered a bold culinary innovation. At the beginning, the salad featured mainly tomatoes and was served without any cheese. The grated cheese was added for the first time in the mid-1960s. This add-on has become the most significant step towards establishing the salad in its present form because the cheese helps soften the vegetables and creates a unique and recognisable taste. During the 1970s, the salad began to appear in almost every restaurant and home throughout the country. Because of its mass popularity, it gained the status of a “typical Bulgarian salad”. According to local culture, the salad is named after an ethnic subgroup of people known as “shopi”, the local residents of the capital region, Sofia. The predominant colour of their traditional clothing is white, the same as the grated white cheese that covers the top of Shopska salad.

The Recipe

Shopska salad has been the symbol of the Bulgarian cuisine for ages.

It is a cold salad made from the following ingredients: four ripe tomatoes, two long cucumbers, an onion, a red or green pepper, 1/3 a bunch of parsley, two tablespoons of olive oil, three tablespoons of red wine vinegar and a cup (1/2 lb) of Bulgarian cheese. The recipe for preparing Shopska salad is well known and easy to follow: chop all the ingredients, sprinkle with the oil and vinegar, and then mix it all together. Finally, grate and add the cheese on top and voilà!


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