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Ciubritsa and Sharena Sol

Printed From: Foods of the World Forum
Category: Europe
Forum Name: The Balkans
Forum Discription: Romania, Bulgaria and the former Yugoslavia.
Printed Date: 16 January 2019 at 09:40

Topic: Ciubritsa and Sharena Sol
Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Subject: Ciubritsa and Sharena Sol
Date Posted: 14 January 2016 at 19:44
Ciubritsa is the Bulgarian word for summer savory, which is a quintessential herb in the region. It is also the prime ingredient in Bulgaria’s most favoured spice mixture, Sharena Sol, which is a combination of savory, paprika and salt. Sometimes, other herbs or spices are added, such as fenugreek, black pepper, parsley and even ground pumpkin seeds, but the soul of the blend has always been and will always be the fundamental trio of salt, paprika and savory.

In discussing this seasoning mix with Brook (HistoricFoodie), he suggested a 2:1:1 ratio for sharena sol; that is, 2 parts salt, 1 part savory (he suggests winter savory) and 1 part paprika.

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Posted By: AK1
Date Posted: 17 January 2016 at 23:43
In the Croatian language, Sharana literally means "coloured" or even "Striped".Wow, I'm actually colouring salt. Nope! Heck, it's no wonder translating is so hard.

Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 23 January 2018 at 13:16
That makes sense, Darko, since when you measure the ingredients and put them into a container, they do show distinct stripes of the different colours (green, red and white); coincidentally (or not?), these are the colours of the Bulgarian flag.

At long last, I had the time and the opportunity to put this concept into practice over the past weekend; while at a specialty shop in Great Falls, I bought some dried summer savory and some (very) fresh paprika, along with a shaker bottle to store the sharena sol.

The savory was not ground, and there was no mill, grinder or food processor handy; no worries! After "squishing" it around in the bag for about 10 minutes, the savory was "ground nearly as fine as the paprika. Both the savory and the paprika were quite fragrant, and I could easily see why this combination would be so popular.

Using brook's ratio above - 2 parts salt, 1 part savory and 1 part paprika - I filled the shaker bottle and mixed the ingredients well. The only salt I had available to me was kosher salt, which ahs a larger, flakier grain than the savory and paprika. My guess is that fine sea salt or even canning salt would be a better choice, but oh well.

I haven't had the opportunity yet to use it, but will look for one soon and report on results. one beloved and time-honoured use for it is for dipping freshly-baked bread, and I must admit that given the aroma of this seasoning, it would have to be a wonderful option.

In further discussions with Brook, the subject of sodium-restricted diets came up, as my mother-in-law is temporarily on one for medical reasons. I explained that I mixed up a batch of 50/50 savory and paprika for her, with the suggestion that she combine equal parts of this mix with the "no-salt" sodium substitute that we got for her. I also mentioned that the sodium substitute is, in my opinion, terrible stuff, and Brook had a great suggestion:

Originally posted by Brook Brook wrote:

I would add a tad of dried, powdered orange rind, as it adds just enough acidity to replace the salt. It's easy enough to make: Peel the oranges (or Clementines work just as well); scrape off all the white pith, put the pieces in a dehydrator and dry until crisp enough to grind. Pop the dried pieces into the spice grinder and there you go.

As far as how much dried orange peel to add, Brook suggested that for every tablespoon each of paprika and savory (2 tablespoons, if the paprika and savory are already mixed together), try a teaspoon of the dried orange peel. This is a guess at this point, but then more can be added of desired or necessary.

The next time we are in Great Falls, I will mix some of this combination up for my mother-in-law and see how it goes. In the meantime, if anyone tries this (or the original, with salt), let us know what you think of it!

NOTE - Post edited for correct amounts.

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Posted By: HistoricFoodie
Date Posted: 23 January 2018 at 18:06
Must be I wasn't clear, Ron. What I meant was that for a tablespoon each of the savory and paprika try a teaspoon of the rind.

Sorry about the confusion.

But we hae meat and we can eat
And sae the Lord be thanket

Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 24 January 2018 at 08:55
Hi, Brook -

the confusion is certainly mine - I re-read your message, and you were clear...I simply got ahead of myself.

I have edited the opening post, to reflect the correct amount.

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