Sharena Sol, a Bulgarian spice mix
I came across a reference to a Bulgarian spice mix, sharena sol (translation: colourful salt) last summer, and that got me tinkering. The combination described on Wikipedia–ground savory, paprika, and salt–seemed both simple and unusual. With nothing more to go on, I mixed up equal quantities of the three, and came up with a winner: a clean, fresh combo that’s reminiscent of commercial steak spice mixes, but more straightforward. Try it.
Without a recipe, though, I wasn’t not sure I made the real thing. Some more poking around turned up a reference to fenugreek seeds going in the mix, as well as this combo: salt, savory, black and red peppers, cornmeal, and ground pumpkin seeds. I also found the photo above–it looks like different variations of sharena sol are loaded into jars like sand paintings. That’s more work than I’m willing to do.
And finally I found, by accident and not far from where I live, a Bulgarian deli. Along with lamb sausages, I bought some packaged sharena sol. A comparison of the ingredient list and a taste-test confirmed my proportions weren’t far off. And since I bought bright red (therefore fresh) paprika and ground savory from a bulk food store with a lot of product turnover, I’d even say my version tasted better than the package that had come all the way from Bulgaria.
But still, does anyone have a recipe?