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Food, water and drinks

Bulgarian food does not particularly differ from the traditional European cuisine. The basic food products of the traditional Bulgarian cuisine are beans, sour and fresh milk, cheese, tomatoes, paprika, potatoes, onions, apples, water-melons, and grapes.

Bulgarians consume all kinds of meat from industrially bred animals and fowls, fresh-water and sea fish, more seldom (wild) game. Bread is invariantly present on Bulgarian dinner table. The tradition of meeting visitors with bread and salt is very much alive. The Bulgarians cuisine is moderate, with meals seldom too salted, hot or sour.

Food products can be purchased in all food stores and supermarkets, as well as on the direct producer-consumer market. Cooked food is served in catering establishments, pizza stands and restaurants, the prices depending on the category of the catering establishment.

In recent years the country has been flooded with thousands of private catering establishments, which serve traditional Bulgarian cuisine. The most frequent meat specialities are kebapcheta (minced-meat rolls) and kyufteta (meatballs), shish kebab (grilled meat) on skewers, steaks, and loukanka (salami); tarator (cold summer soup), cheese a la Shopski, breaded yellow cheese, beans soup cooked in a monastery manner, banitsa (sheeted pastry with cheese), paprika stuffed with eggs and cheese, Russian salad, aubergine puree, Shopska salad and caramel custard - of the meatless dishes. Bulgarian sour milk is worldwide famous cows milk, sheeps milk and buffalo-cows milk all of various taste and cream content. By no chance the microorganisms that are of a yeast-type and make this divine product are called Lactobacterium Bulgaricum (Grigoroff). Along with the oil-yielding rose, which is part of every nice perfume, the milk of Bulgarian origin is among the most demanded goods at the stocks worldwide.

Fruit and vegetables grown in Bulgaria are of unique taste. The fruits and vegetables purchased from the market should be abundantly washed in flowing water before consumption. In small booths one can buy edible kernels, baked seeds and popcorn, dried, caramel- or chocolate-coated kernels and fruits.

A breakfast in an ordinary restaurant costs about 3 Leva, a dinner - 8 Leva, and supper - around 10 Leva. If you order wine or 50 grams liquor, the bill is almost doubled.

Water in Bulgaria is usually good to drink. Irrespective of this tourists must seek information on the current state of tap water in the respective settlement. Mineral water is sold everywhere; it is of exclusively good quality, factory-bottled and duly sealed. Everywhere on sale are also natural juices without preservatives, manufactured by Bulgarian and foreign producers. The Bulgarian juices cost no more than 2 Leva a litre, the imported ones cost around 3 Leva. Tea and coffee is offered everywhere in the country. Boza, an Arab boiled-grain drink popular in Bulgaria is also widely sold. Fresh milk, obligatorily pasteurised, is sold in a wide diversity of packaging. Beer, locally brewed and imported is very popular, either tapped or bottled. The products of Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Bulgarian soft drinks can be found in every food or specialised shop.

Alcoholic drinks are on sale in most food shops, and in numerous specialised pubs. Bulgarian wines are famed for their exceptional quality; indeed, Bulgaria is one of the worlds major wine exporters. The price of one bottle of 0.75 litres of good dry wine varies between 3 and 5 Leva.

Alcoholic concentrate traditional for Bulgaria is called rakiya. The price of a 0.5-litre bottle varies between 3 Leva and 15 Leva, depending on the quality of the product, the manufacturing technology and the region of origin. Prime quality rakiya are used as a medicine in traditional medicine. Imported brand drinks are available everywhere. Their price is close to that in the producer countries. All alcoholic drinks should mandatory bear an excise band. 

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