Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Bulgaria Painted in Words

Rakia is part of many other things here that makes Bulgaria unique. There is another article on Bulgaria that had been found, which of course mentions Rakia in passing. I have left it in its entirety as other paragraph paints a little picture of Bulgaria very well.

Some researchers of the ancient world say that the first wine was produced in the region of the Black Sea and the temple to Dionysus - at the same time a Thracian and an ancient Greek god of wine - was here in Bulgaria. Latest archaeological finds (in Perperikon, Tatul, Starosel and elsewhere on the territory of the country) are about to prove them right. True or not, contemporary Bulgaria has a lot to offer as far as exceptional wines go. Besides the great diversity of internationally re­nowned varieties such as Cabernet, Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, there are several local wine grape varieties as well. One of the popular varieties is Mavrud (a deep red wine from Assenovgrad), Melnik (a full-blooded wine, rich in tannin) and Gumza. The local white wines include Misket and Dimyat. A bottle of wine costs around 2 euro in shops, and for 4-5 euro you can buy a mature wine of a fine variety.

Most Bulgarian brewer­ies are owned by lead­ing international com­panies and manufacture high-quality lager. The most famous brands, made in Bulgaria are Kamenitza, Zagorka and Shumensko. Beer prices at beer­houses and bars varybetween 0.50 and 1.00 euro per pint.

High- alcohol drinks such as vodka and whis­key are popular among Bulgar­ians, but most popular of all is "rakia" - a tradi­tional local type of brandy made of grapes, plums, apricots, pears or some other kind of fruit. In winter, rakia may be served hot, and in summer - ice cold. In both cases the appetizers are fresh salads made of tomatoes and cucumber or pickled vegetables in a special marinade.

Bulgarians love to have fun. They are fond of going out with friends; that is why restaurants, cafes and bars are full almost every evening, even on weekdays. Cof­fee plays a special role in the lives of Bulgarians and you will see a lot of different cafes, serving espresso of exceptional quality at terraces or indoors.

There are plenty of good restaurants in Sofia and new ones are constantly appearing. These of a higher class offer international and Mediterranean cuisine, as well as traditional Bulgarian dishes. There are many fast-food outlets and most cafes serve breakfast. Food is a form of relaxation and entertainment for Bulgarians. Whatever your preferred type of food is the quality is good and the prices - low by European standards. A good meal for two with beverages costs 15-20 euro.

There are at least several specialized restaurants of­fering traditional Bulgarian cuisine in each town. If you want to try out authentic Bulgarian dishes, using old recipes, it would be a good idea to visit one of the open-air museum towns such as Melnik, Shiroka Luka, Koprivshtitsa, Tryavna, Bozhentsi, Zheravna. Besides the other attractions, the houses there have preserved the unique atmosphere of the 19th century.

Taken from
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