Kapama–A Traditional Bulgarian Dish

The question what ‘Kapama’ is has no precise answer. Generally, it is a traditional Bulgarian dish, usually prepared in winter, mainly at big family gatherings during around Christmas and New Year’s. There are several types of Kapama, which are prepared in the spring or summer, they use only one type of meat and are “lighter”. However, here we will pay attention to the winter variety.

One French Translator in Chicago, who is also interested in East European customs and cuisine, say, that the preparation of this traditional dish is popular in different parts of Bulgaria, and, of course, there are different recipes. What is common of all of them is that we put sauerkraut and various meats in the dish. Besides meat you can put leaves stuffed with minced meat, sausages and salami, bacon, mushrooms or other vegetables.

The Kapama is most often cooked in a crock, but it may be also cooked in a standard pot – the products are layered, the lied is sealed with dough, and then the pot is put it in the oven to bake for a long period of time at low temperature which ensures that the meat becomes soft and flavors are soaked in all layers of the dish.

As we the experts from the Portuguese translation Los Angeles Agency noted – the recipe for Kapama is different in the different regions of Bulgaria, and probably even different in every home. However, the most popular variety is the Kapama from Bansko (a small town in the Rodopi Mountain). It can be prepared with a whole hen or chicken – as the bird is stuffed, the bottom of the container in which the dish will be baked is covered with chopped sauerkraut,  then we put the chicken in the center of the pot , and arrange around it stuffed leaves. After that comes a layer of pork, then some more chopped sauerkraut, and black pudding or sausages on top. The whole dish is covered with whole cabbage leaves. It is delicious!

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