Partner country Bulgaria at the International Green Week: The place to sample and taste the flavour of the sun
Bulgarian food as well as luxury food and beverages will be on display in all their diversity from 19 to 28 January at the International Green Week Berlin 2018. In 2018 Bulgaria, which assumes the presidency of the Council of the EU in January, is the partner country of the world’s leading exhibition for agriculture, food and horticulture. Using the slogan ‘Flavour of the Sun’, over three dozen exhibitors are extending an invitation to a journey of culinary discovery in Hall 10.2, the Bulgaria hall.
Many of the products on offer conform to exacting organic standards, because there is widespread recognition in Bulgaria of the importance of ecological farming. Consequently the exhibitors are featuring organic dairy products, as well as organically produced honey, juices, teas, fruit and vegetables as well as organic meat products.
Bulgaria delights with the scent of roses
The most internationally famous Bulgarian agricultural product is also available in organic form: rose oil. Everyone who enters the Bulgarian hall at the Green Week can enjoy the display of delicate roses in bloom, and can delight in the scent of roses. Bulgaria is the largest producer of rose oil, an indispensable ingredient of the finest perfumes. Producers will be bringing a selection of precious rose oils and other cosmetic products made with this valuable raw material to Berlin. Also included are pastilles, enriched with Bulgarian rose oil to help alleviate coughing and hoarseness, and which are ideal for Berlin in January, in the depths of winter.
Bulgaria is equally well known for its fruit and vegetables, which capture the flavour of the sun, and can be sampled at the Green Week. A large restaurant will be serving Bulgarian specialities, including of course the traditional shopska salad. This is made using juicy tomatoes, tasty cucumbers and peppers, onions and parsley. White cheese is a vital addition, made from the milk of sheep, cows, buffaloes or goats, depending on the consumer’s individual taste preference. The important thing is that it must be firm enough to be grated over the salad.
For promoting good health: Lactobacillus bulgaricus
Bulgarian dairy products have a very good reputation, and the ever-popular yoghurt is said to be the reason why people in Bulgaria live to such an advanced age. There is certainly scientific proof that Bulgarian yoghurt owes its outstanding flavour to lactobacillus bulgaricus, a bacterium that is only found in this geographical region and is extremely good for one’s health. It is also very easily digested. Apart from yoghurt exhibitors are also presenting a combined yoghurt drink known as ayran, kashkaval hard cheese made from sheep or cow’s milk and a number of other dairy products.
Ljutenitza is also very popular. This is a vegetable paste used in traditional cooking and made from tomatoes and roasted paprika, which is an ideal accompaniment to grilled meat dishes.
A cuisine of outstanding diversity
Meat features widely in Bulgarian cuisine, which can offer a wide range of different meat dishes. Apart from pork and beef, lamb and fish are equally popular items on the menu. Many examples can be sampled in the restaurant in Hall 10.2 at the Green Week. Alternatively visitors can try one of the many traditional smoked or air-dried sausages flavoured with herbs.
A good meal, and especially hearty Bulgarian dishes, should always be accompanied by a suitable beverage. Meals begin traditionally with a fresh salad and a spirit, rakia, which is made from grapes or plums. The main course is served with a delicious Bulgarian beer or a dry Bulgarian wine, which is steadily attracting more enthusiasts around the world. Bulgaria has a long tradition of wine production, going back to the days of the Thracians, who inhabited large parts of present-day Bulgaria from the fifth to third centuries BC. Herbal teas from the upper mountain regions are served with the dessert.
Bulgarian wine is produced according to the most up-to-date methods, in world class wineries, by winemakers with international experience. As with the many agricultural products, the flavour of the sun has also been captured in Bulgarian wine, making it highly sought after in German specialist outlets and department stores stocking luxury items.
The diversity of Bulgarian wines can be discovered anew each day at the Green Week, because the wineries are so keen to acquaint visitors with their wines that the display will feature alternating exhibitors during the fair, in order to showcase the wine diversity of fine wines that are available. Wine is also pressed from chokeberries in Bulgaria and, although these actually have quite a sour taste, the wine that is produced from them has many varied and fruity notes. This diversity offers yet more proof of the creativity of those engaged in agriculture and food production in Bulgaria, as will be very evident at the Green Week in Berlin.
It is also well worth discovering some of the sweeter things on offer from Bulgaria. Honey and fruit preserves, jams and marmalades, chocolate, dried plums and nuts can all be sampled and enjoyed. For example, where else would you find rose syrup which is not only aids digestion but also helps to relieve stress. A trade fair is the very place to appreciate such a product.