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What Exactly is Authentic Bulgarian Miak, A (Mostly) Logical Explanation

October 21, 2019

What Exactly is Authentic Bulgarian Miak? A (Mostly) Logical ExplanationBy David Cross (check out his fantastic podcast – Award Wieners, in which he talks about Oscar-winning movies and matches them up with food).

Ernest Scared Stupid”, inarguably the best children’s’ Halloween movie in existence (boo, “Hocus Pocus”) introduced the world to authentic Bulgarian miak, one of the most well-known foodstuffs in film history. This is a (mostly) logical explanation of the mysterious substance. Make sure to listen to the podcast episode we dedicated to this topic.

Is Authentic Bulgarian Miak Real?

Before we can explain what exactly miak is, we have to answer this question. We searched the Internet high and low for clues of its existence. With a heavy heart, we have to inform you that miak is not real. Take solace that your childhood was not ruined by this knowledge, only your adulthood.

Still, just because miak doesn’t exist in real life doesn’t mean we can’t make an educated guess as to what it is in the Ernest-verse. (Yes, with 8 movies there is an Ernest-verse.) 

Watch the famous scene before you read on.

What is Authentic Bulgarian Miak?

This might shock you but according to our (mostly) logical examination of “Ernest Scared Stupid” and Bulgarian culture, miak is a yogurt-like substance. 

Here is our exact definition: 

Miak is a Bulgarian-style flavored yogurt sauce that is commonly eaten in the spring and served with a thin pancake.  

This means that Ernest nearly beat Trantor by dumb luck. Talk about being on-brand. 

To develop our definition, we created a list of assumptions that led us to our answer. 

  • Assumption: Miak is a seasonal product. Specifically, it’s a seasonal product that is difficult to find in autumn. This is implied when Ernest says: “I bet you didn’t think I could find any this time of year.” 
  • Assumption: Miak is enjoyed in the spring. This is the farthest season from autumn. We believe miak is similar to spiced apple cider. Yes, you can have it year-round but it’s primarily associated with autumn.
  • Assumption: Miak contains some type of dehydrated substance, which is implied by the phrase “from concentrate” on the jar. The term “from concentrate” is normally associated with juices. But not exclusively. For example, condensed milk is an example of a concentrated dairy product. 
  • Assumption: Miak is a popular product, indicated by the word “original” on the jar. To us, this says that miak is popular enough that brands are fighting to differentiate themselves from each other. In the Ernest-verse, this might be the equivalent of Coke versus Pepsi. This has nothing to do with our analysis, but it’s worth adding to your head cannon. 
  • Assumption: Miak is probably a portmanteau of the words’ milk and yak. Again, this has nothing to do with explaining what miak actually is. We just thought it was funny.  
  • Assumption: Miak is easily throwable. By this, we mean that miak can be jettisoned from its container. We know this because Ernest was going to toss miak in Trantor’s face. The means miak is not a paste or paste-like. 
  • Assumption: Miak is viscus, probably gel-like. When Ernest drops the jar we don’t see a puff of powder. Neither do we see liquid slosh out.
Yep, it’s a yogurt sauce.
  • Assumption: Miak comes in a variety of flavors. Otherwise, why would the label include the word “plain.” This isn’t that important. 
  • Assumption: The jar is stoneware. We believe this is vital to understanding miak. In researching jars, we learned that this particular stoneware is commonly referred to as a “cheese crock.” For the curious, they are about $10 on eBay. 
Joseph LaScola crushed the design. Check out his page.
  • Assumption: Miak is a dairy product. This is because miak is viscous and the stoneware is meant to store diary. However, miak is not a pure dairy product otherwise it would have a familiar name. This means that it’s mixed with something unique, such as herbs, fruits, or vegetables.
  • Assumption: Miak is sweet. Bulgarians already have a traditional savory yogurt sauce — podluchen sauce. There’s no need for a second savory yogurt sauce.
  • Assumption: Miak is eaten with a main dish, as it’s a sauce. 
  • Assumption: Miak is eaten with Bulgarian pancakes, which are a staple of the country’s cuisine and similar to what Americans think of as crepes. We selected pancakes because we believe they go best with a sweet sauce. Furthermore, there is evidence through the various Ernest commercials (which may or may not be canon) that our denim-clad goofball likes pancakes. This assumption also helps explain where Ernest got the miak; he probably knew a guy who supplied the hard-to-come-by sauce for Ernest’s hardy breakfasts.

When all of these assumptions are taken together, it’s clear that miak is like Ernest—a little weird and a little sweet. 

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