What to bring as a souvenir from Bulgaria?

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One of the best things about traveling is the souvenirs that you bring home afterward to remind you of your trip. Many collect magnets to put on their fridge’s door, others look meticulously for something typical for the region or the particular country and produced by the local community to support the local economy. What I appreciate about Bulgaria is that wherever you go, you can find authentic and handmade objects that you can bring back home as a souvenir. Even though I am Bulgarian, all the things that I will recommend you to bring home as a souvenir are a part of my home interior and cellar ):

Traditional Bulgarian embroidery

Nowadays it’s challenging to find handmade authentic embroidery, but young and creative artists breathe new life to Bulgarian symbols and embroidery. Handmade markets are organized every now and then, and if you are lucky enough, you can find beautiful handmade jewellery or accessories with Bulgarian embroidery. There are T-shirts and shirts, bracelets, earrings, pendants and others. Symbols and colors differ from region to region and if you want to know more about the meaning of the symbols, just ask the locals and find new friends)

Pottery

Bulgarian pottery is unique and is something that one can easily find everywhere. From Guvech (Big clay pot) to Sach (a pot made by hand from a special type of clay that is thick and heavy and can be used both on direct heat on the hob and in the oven) as well as plates and mugs with traditional ornaments, all colors and shapes sparkling the joy of gathering together. Very useful and affordable. If a Guvech looks too big for you, you can buy a smaller variation called guvecheta. The best is to have a set of 4 or 6 in case you want to impress your friends): You can cook everything in it – meat, vegetables, eggs, and others.

WINE !

Bulgaria is a big wine producer and consumer dating back to the times of Thracians. Good Bulgarian wine can be found everywhere. A typical red grape style is Mavrud. Typical white wine styles are Muscat, Traminer, Cabernet Sauvignon, Dimyat and others. The Black Sea Coast is famous for its special white wines as well as the region of Melnik and its unique grape style called ShirokaMelnishkaLoza. Wherever you go, you will definitely find local wineries where you can taste Bulgarian wine and buy a few bottles for your family and friends.

Rose cosmetic products

while visiting the Land of Roses, don’t miss out to try and buy some rose products. If you visit the Rose Festival held in Kazanlak well-known as the Rose Valley during the end of May – beginning of June you will be surprised how many different products are made of roses. You can taste rose liquor and Rakia (sort of roses grappa); rose jam, rose water (to drink and used as a face toner); all kinds of face cremes, soaps, bath salts, rose oil and others. Bulgaria is a huge lavender producer and if you prefer lavender aroma, a great variety of lavender products is offered on the market. Handmade natural cosmetic products are flourishing and if you like hanging out on the small local markets you will definitely find very nice brands and products. Just stay open and go shopping where the locals go

The beautiful Bulgarian rose
traditional Bulgarian banitsa

Bring a banitsa recipe at home 🙂

Banitsa is the most traditional dish in Bulgaria. It’s almost impossible to miss out to try banitsa. It’s sold everywhere and every Bulgarian can prepare banitsa for sure. If you want to really surprise your family and friends and learn a new recipe, I would advise you to learn how to make banitsa. I can assure you that the phyllo pastry and the Bulgarian white cheese can be bought everywhere. I know that from experience ): You need a package of phyllo pastry – approximately 400gr., Bulgarian cow white cheese (or feta) – about 400 gr., Bulgarian yogurt (or whatever yogurt you can find on the market) – 400 gr., 2-3 eggs and a little bit of butter. You can also add some milk to make it more soft and fluffy. Try your chef skills and invite your family and friends to a typical Bulgarian breakfast. Bon appétit!

Author and Photographer: Julia Dimova
Author and Photographer: Julia Dimova

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