5 More Food Festivals for an Extra Delicious Vacation to Bulgaria
Our last list of mouth-watering food festivals gave plenty of ideas on which places to stop by on your Bulgaria vacation, but there are so many of these fun-filled events happening all over the country, we just had to compile a sequel. Here are five more food festivals that are sure to make your holiday in Bulgaria extra tasty:
Wine & Gourmet in Plovdiv
The European Capital of Culture is no slouch when it comes to merriment or – you guessed it – culture. We just have to start our list with the Wine & Gourmet Festival, where exquisite local wines meet masterfully prepared gourmet food in the atmospheric Old Town.
Visitors can enjoy wine tasting or buy wine bottles to take home from their vacation to Bulgaria. The wide range of pastries and appetizers perfectly complement the beverages. This festival takes place in the yards of some of the Old Plovdiv’s most significant house-museums, thus encompassing wine tourism, culinary tourism and cultural tourism at once. A definite must-visit.
One thing you absolutely need to try on your vacation to Bulgaria, especially if you’ll be travelling to the Black Sea coast, is our most beloved summer snack – fried sprats. These tiny anchovy-sized fish are scrumptious when covered in flour and deep-fried. In Bulgaria, we eat them much the way one would eat French fries, with a decidedly summery tinge. They go with beer, a range of salads, or just on their own.
The town of Kranevo highlights this rarely advertised but widely popular part of our cuisine with its own Sprat Festival. Aside from the classical dish, local chefs wow participants with a number of recipes with sprats, and there’s enough beer and fun to go around.
This truly special festival is for the meat enthusiasts, especially those who favor lamb and goat meat. Cheverme is a challenging Bulgarian culinary delicacy that is prepared not in a kitchen, but outdoors. The cooks spit roast a whole goat or lamb with embers in a process that can take between 5 and 8 hours. It’s a group activity, and it’s not unusual for a group gathering over the cheverme to grow into a merry party – and Zlatograd likes to take its parties to a whole new level. Every year, the town throws its Zlatograd Cheverme and Bagpipes, mixing the proud cheverme tradition with an impressive display of bagpipe playing. The sound of hundreds of bagpipes fill the Rhodope mountains as local chefs work their magic on the fire spits and showcase a wide range of dishes specific to this folk region. This festival will turn your vacation to Bulgaria into a truly immersive experience and allow you to get in close touch with the local culture.
Bread holds a special place in Bulgarian culture. According to folk tradition, one must welcome guests into their home with bread and salt as a sign of hospitality.
It’s no surprise that, given its significance, there are multiple festivals dedicated to the mighty bread. Their main focus are heated bread baking competitions. They are held all over the country, so while on vacation to Bulgaria, be on the lookout for bread festivals near where you’re staying.
The Elena Ham Festival
Elena in the Stara Planina Mountains is a historic town tied closely to Bulgaria’s Liberation movement. It is home to many Revival Period houses, churches and a school built all the way in 1844. Elena is also a major hunters’ hub, and the local cuisine reflects that.
The Elena Ham is somewhat of a culinary superstar in Bulgaria. In times unknown, the citizens of Elena invented their very own recipe for pork ham, and the ingredients and conditions required depend strongly on the environmental factors in this area. The Elena Ham Festival takes places at the end of October and recreates an old tradition in these parts wherein people from all over the region got together to celebrate the dish. The festivities include historic plays, degustations, competitions, and exhibitions – a perfect addition to any vacation to Bulgaria.