Contrary to the opinion established by average tourists, who touch this country from the sea, Bulgaria is actually a land of mountains. Mountain formations (Stara Planina, Rila, Pirin, Rhodope Mountains) occupy 30% country, and pastures, there is more of meadows and mountain pastures than arable land. These specific conditions have made, that sheep breeding has developed here for centuries, which has always fundamentally determined the eating system of the inhabitants. After all, the basic meat in Bulgarian cuisine is lamb, actually lamb meat. Only the country can afford such profligacy, in which the sheep population has the highest indicators in Europe. Bulgaria also consumes a lot of dairy products, including, of course, the famous yoghurt, called here "kiseło mliako”.
Sour milk is invariably a permanent item in the daily menu of a typical Bulgarian. They are served in small bowls and eaten with a spoon, because the dense one, a homogeneous mass is hardly a drink. Yogurt - as a national specialty - is also on everyone's menu, even the most exquisite restaurants. It is usually served as an appetizer or dessert (then with sugar, compote fruit or jam). There is a restaurant in Bulgaria, where sour milk is a specific specialty. It's called "Poda” and located |is near Kamchia, slightly off the beaten track from Varna t Burgas. And although it's not on the way at all, they almost always stop, here are coaches carrying tourists from Golden Sands, Druzhba and Balchik to Sunny Beach. This is where they serve milk with such a thick consistency, that you can cut them with a knife. This specialty of the establishment is the restaurant "Poda” also sells for takeout, in plastic, usually 1 kg packages. From sheep's milk, a similar specialty is served at the foot of Szipka.
The growing popularity of the local sour milk among foreigners visiting Bulgaria confirms its world fame, which is constantly growing thanks to the skilful advertising of this product on Western markets. In Paris, yoghurt called "Bulgarian” reaches the highest price.
Bulgarian sour milk, actually an ingredient causing its fermentation, has long intrigued doctors. Discovered and classified as Lactobacillus bulgaricus, ceased to be a secret. Today it is known, that it has a very beneficial effect on the human body, especially on the condition of the digestive tract, stomach, check out. However, it requires a local climate. Separated, Bulgarian 'lactobacillus” was used to develop the drug "Gastrofarm” against stomach problems, especially peptic ulcer disease. During the treatment with "Gastrofarm” pain and other ailments disappear quickly. It was also found, that "lactobacillus” regenerates the entire body and can be effectively used in various diseases. Thus, the use of this useful group of bacteria is claimed in US Pat 45 countries of the world.
Kiseło Mliako” is made of sheep's milk, cow, and even goat and buffalo. The milk is first pasteurized and evaporated, and then acidified with said bacteria. The consistency of the milk should be smooth and uniform, no sign of gassing.
It is not known, or the average Bulgarian - who starts his day with sour milk - realizes its unique properties each time. Scientists say, however, that it is the systematic consumption of large amounts of yoghurt that is m. in. the secret of Bulgarians' longevity. Currently in Bulgaria on 100 thousand. inhabitants fall 52, who have crossed 100 years. There are also districts that boast their own records in this regard. These include, for example. Smolyan in the Rhodope Mountains.
The special properties of yoghurt have been used * even in cosmetics. Bulgarians use e.g.. Kiseło Mliako” for washing hair. Milk mixed with fresh egg yolks gives the shampoo which nourishes and strengthens the hair. Yoghurt is also used for cosmetic masks with a whitening and moisturizing effect.