The mekica, as a symbol of our childhood carelessness and its integration into our hectic daily lives
Imagine it, perfect: crispy, with a golden crust, thick borders, but a soft middle that melts gently on your tongue. So many things complement it- a fresh and slightly chilled jar of jam or marmalade, fine sugar powder, or homemade Bulgarian honey, so that your fingers will be left sticky from this somewhat erotic culinary experience. If you want something even more sweet and adventurous, you can tickle yourself by adding some chocolate spread on top. If you are not in that kind of a mood, you can simply crush some Bulgarian white cheese on top- homemade or bought from the nearest chandlery.
What about the drinks that go well with the mekica? Ayran, boza, coffee, whatever you like, even in this category, the mekica proves to be the perfect breakfast for the day which will serve you faithfully, regardless of what awaits you ahead after this short moment of bliss.
When we hear this divine word “mekica”
or even its more endearing version, “mekichka,” we go back in time to the childhood mornings when we rarely hurried, and even if we did, it was never for work. Imagine this: You wake up in the morning at 08:30 AM from the hustle and bustle in the kitchen. The noise is not that loud to provoke anger in the grouchy neighbors, but enough to bring you back from the dream world and for the delicious scent of fresh mekici to lure you into the living room.
The kitchen is hot, even for a summer morning. The kitchen hood works with all of its power, but it sometimes coughs because it is fighting for electricity with the other 15 kitchen hoods in the block of flats.
The window is opened, but it does not help a lot because outside is hot and stuffy as well. Your mother or grandmother goes back and forth and around the kitchen, fast- but steady. She comes up to you to kiss you on the forehead and to say “good morning” with a warm smile on her face.
Before you realize that you must have left little sweat, that is dripping from your head, on her lips, a plate with mekici has been served before you, and the feeling of discomfort is replaced with joy. Fastly you pierce your little teeth, some of which still baby teeth, into the doughy glamor, and the world becomes a little bit brighter. The sun shines with a smile and you stop sweating because you forget that the room must be around 45C degrees.
We are not really sure
how the recipe for the mekica came to be, but we are confident that the number of smiles is more significant than the years before the recipe came about. To be honest, I do not think there is a better way to start the day. An interesting fact worth mentioning in this simple but honest love letter dedicated to our favorite breakfast, is that our Hungarian friends also have mekici, and they also love them. They even have their own name for it- Langosh (in Hungarian-Lángos). There are differences between the two recipes. They sprinkle it with grated garlic, cream, and sunflower oil. Sometimes they melt cheese on top of it, we skip these ingredients.
It is interesting how the mekica reminds us of our childhood, but many of us have stopped to buy and eat a mekica even when we got older. When we were little kids, before they sent us off from our homes to kindergarten, our parents made homemade mekici for lunch, and we used to eat them whole, sometimes without even chewing. In primary school and in high school, during reses, we used to run with the older kids toward the shop to buy some mekici for lunch.
We used to push them in order to be the first ones to get there, so that we can eat them fast and won’t be late for class. “Ok, to be honest, we were the ones being pushed aside, but we like to keep the details for ourselves, right?”
Personally, before I graduated high school, during the summer, before going to my summer job, often I would go to the nearest shop to buy a mekica with sugar powder (not too much because we all know how high school kids react to the even slightly chubby ones in high school).
At the same place, I have seen many elderly people buy the same, with a nearly childish-like happiness in their eyes.
They took a bite even before they had gotten their change. It is easy to trace the path we all take while the years pass by, and even easier is to trace the trajectory of the mekica because the two lines, most of the time, are parallel with one another.
Everybody goes, but the mekica stays- remember that.
With or without sugar powder, with ayran or coffee, at home or in the next hipster cafe that tries to make the mekica trendy, the mekica will always take us to the same place. A place with dreams and hopes. With a risk of sounding mediocre to the point of profanity, I would say that it does not matter where or when in life we are, the mekica takes us back to our childhood.
Author: Alex Bogdev