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Bulgarian Beef sandwiches?

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Josef Rogovsky
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Josef Rogovsky asked on 06 Dec 2007, 06:50 PM
I've been reading about the early history of the Apple Macintosh computer at Folklore.org and there are several references to Burrell Smith, the engineer who designed the original Mac hardware, being, at one time, obsessed with "Bulgarian Beef Sandwiches".

A Google search didn't return much info on this delicacy. Can anyone from Telerik explain what exactly these sandwiches are and what makes them special?

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Tervel
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answered on 07 Dec 2007, 10:05 AM
Hello Josef,

That's an interesting question, to say the least :)
Bulgarian cuisine is quite varied and one cannot say for sure which of the hundred possibilities that could use the generic name "Bulgarian Beef Sandwich" is what Smith was obsessed with.

The Telerik team took your question with enthusiasm and quite at heart.
A quick online search performed by a team member brings some interesting results, such as this one:
http://www.yelp.com/biz/EtHdljzW_bFiD10fapLSxQ 
Quote: "My friend is fond of the Bulgarian Beef sandwich, though we're not quite sure what exactly is so Bulgarian about it; it's pretty much the same as the Falafel, but with some sauteed beef instead of falafel. Mind you I've never tried it myself, but my friend swears by it and I trust her judgement."

A popular and very tasty beef sandwich in the early 80s could be made with a salami that looks like this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lukanka
My guess would be that this is the thing Smith liked, and if you try it you would see why :)

You can order [one variety] of that particular product in the USA from here:


Another Telerik member came out with the suggestion that the "sadwitch" might be in fact another variety made with ground meat and then baked - a very popluar thing to eat in the 80s too, especially in school cafeterias.
Check out this link here:
http://www.bgstuff.net/component/option,com_ricettario/func,detail/Itemid,578/id,804/


Some Telerik customers, evangelists and some of our overseas staff have had the chance to visit Bulgaria already and I guess they can share a thing or two about the food they had :)


On a side note, it seems that while  Apple engineers were obsessed with Bulgarian food in 1980, Bulgarian IT engineers were equally obsessed with Apple computer.  It might be interesting for you that some of the first microcomputers developed and manufactured in Bulgaria in the end of the 70s and early 80s were Apple clones - photos and history provided here:
http://www.homecomputer.de/pages/easteurope_bu.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pravetz_series_8


Best regards,
Tervel
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Josef Rogovsky
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answered on 07 Dec 2007, 04:11 PM
Thanks for the detailed response Tervel,

It occurs to me that the very first link you provided is to a restaurant in Cupertino, where Apple HQ is/was, so it might just be the source of the sandwich in question. If so, it sounds like a beef Shawarma. According to Wikipedia there is a Bulgarian version.

I was indeed very interested in the info you provided about Apple clones in Bulgaria. The 6502 CPU was quite versatile and arguably the grandfather of the PC revolution. It seems that Apple was aware of the growing clone industry. There's a story at Folklore.org that describes the extra effort they put into the Macintosh to help them combat cloners: link. (Wozniak even makes an appearance in the comments to relay an anecdote of a run-in he had with one of the clone companies)
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Esk
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answered on 23 Jan 2008, 10:52 PM
I know those became very popular in Bulgaria in the 90's but i can't remember if they were around in the 80's (regarding to the shawarma's)
I am going to call my mom and ask her if she can guess what type of sandwich it was.

Since you are showing interest in the history of computers you might find this biography interesting as well 
John Atanasoff 
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Josef Rogovsky
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answered on 24 Jan 2008, 02:27 PM
The Atanasoff story was very interesting indeed.

Did he ever write an autobiography?
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Tervel
Telerik team
answered on 24 Jan 2008, 03:06 PM
Hello Josef,

I do not think he did. He was invited and visited Bulgaria at least two times - durging the 60s and 70s, and he has been greatly honored here as being the inventor of the computer - so if he did write an autobiography, it would have been published. I have never seen such a book though.


All the best,
Tervel
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Josef Rogovsky
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answered on 30 Jan 2008, 12:27 AM
Out of sheer co-incidence I'm reading a novel that makes a brief mention of Atanasoff.

The book is called Cryptonomicon.

I wouldn't have understood the reference if not for this thread. :)
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Tervel
Telerik team
answered on 30 Jan 2008, 07:43 AM
Hi Josef,

Cryptonomicon  by Neal Stephenson?
Great choice - have not read this one but I love two other books of his - 'Snow Crash' and  'The Diamond Age'.
Along with William Gibson, I think Stephenson and Tad Williams ("Otherland") are the two [post] cyber-punk writers worth reading.

If I fnd the time to start blogging on a more regular basis at blogs.telerik I will definitely write a post discussing some of the ideas of Stephenson's and Williams' books.

Best regards,
Tervel
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Josef Rogovsky
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answered on 30 Jan 2008, 08:27 AM
That's the book!

I needed something to read on my recent trip to Texas. A friend recommended Snow Crash. The book store didn't have it so I picked up Cryptonomicon instead.

It's funny how I'd never heard of Stephenson before but so many industry people who see me with this book know exactly who he is.

I hope to find a copy of Snow Crash in time for my next business trip at the end of February.

I look forward to reading your blog. :)
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Josef Rogovsky
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answered on 31 Jan 2008, 09:12 PM
Now I've gone and lost the book.

I was only about a third through it and it was getting really good.

If anyone finds it let me know!



:)
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Esk
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answered on 28 Aug 2014, 04:52 AM
Go ebook go go go!
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