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Our Cakes 77 years ago
Women of Burgas in the 30s and 40s of 20th c.

In one of the glass cases of the Ethnographic Museum in Burgas stand open three old notebooks with carefully written recipes for cookies and cakes. Visitors always stop by them with interest, then comment the spelling of the recipes, written before the spelling reform in 1945, and try to remember the necessary products and details for "the making of cake". These are notes from a specially organized at that time cooking course.

They belong to my grandmother - Ruska Topalova, born and raised in Burgas.

I found them home during the preparation of the exhibition "The Woman of Burgas in the 30s and 40s of the twentieth century." The exhibition displays information on how women of Burgas dresses back in the days, what were their outfits, how they organized their daily life and parties. The wealthy families even had a certain day of the week, on which they received guests. The guests were served boiled coffee, fruit or white jam.

During this period the Bulgarian urban kitchen was under the influence of Europe as well as the Orient. The 30s of the 20th century were characterized with extravagant products even some more luxurious such as chocolate. This is the time when the pastry cooks created the famous German cake "Schwarzwald" - made of chocolate cake with cherry filling and cream, decoration with delicious chocolate chips. Culinary novelties the women learned from many books with collections of recipes and magazines.

Here is a recipe for a cake from the cooking book of the old housewives in Burgas:
Ingredients: 9 eggs, 150 g sugar, 120 g walnuts, 120 g flower, 1 tea spoon cacao powder




Rosica Topalova, curator in Department Ethnography of Regional Historical Museum Burgas
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