Bulgaria offers a delicious plethora of fruits. You can find all sorts of fruits in the country, within your reach on local markets and stores. If you have an innate love for fruits, you’ll undoubtedly relish them as Bulgarian fruits are among some of the globe’s most succulent. Plus, you get to enjoy different types of fruits from season to season, which means the variety will fulfill your appetite. Here, discover the native fruits you need to taste in Bulgaria.
You can find Bulgarian pears from autumn to early winter. While these fruits are fun to enjoy as raw, people also use pears to make rakia, a clear, potent alcohol drink created through fermented fruits’ distillation. Bulgarians also eat them dried, on jams, or deserts like tutti frutti. You can still see pears available in the market throughout the year, though they are imported from Greece, Italy, and Argentina, so it pays to know when they are in season.
Apples are very popular across the world, and Bulgaria isn’t an exception. Apple trees of different varieties thrive in the southwestern and southern parts of the country, as well as in the Varna region. Fruits from these trees are usually harvested from the latter part of June until late Autumn. Most often eaten raw, apples are also used to make wines, rakia, or used in baking.
Love the distinct, vibrant red color, aroma, sweetness, and juicy texture of Strawberries? Find Bulgarian ones in the market from late to April. Strawberries are best eaten raw, but they taste excellent on jams, too! If you want the former, you can take a stroll in the mountains and find some small yet very delicious wild strawberries growing.
Bulgaria has a long tradition of making plums. In fact, a festival is held in the scenic town of Troyan and the surrounding Oreshak village. It is a blissful celebration of the fruit and features different workshops, tours, tastings. The festival is dedicated to the cultivation of plum and all the products produced from the fruit. You can find Bulgarian plums from summer to early autumn. They are very popular and rank second to apple in terms of local production.
While Blueberries are locally grown in the country, they aren’t very much popular among the locals. Dried ones are available throughout the year, but you’ll find some fresh ones in bigger stores and some markets. The best way to eat Bulgaria-grown blueberries is going on a mountain walk while keeping your eyes peeled for the wild ones.
You can find different types of locally-grown cherries from May to June, coming from the Kyustendil province in southwestern Bulgaria. Outside the season, the ones you’ll find in the market are imported from other countries. Cherries are made into pies, jams, tutti frutti, and even in rakia. Tart or sour cherries are less popular, but you can see them available during the summer if you want to try one.
The small, nutrient-dense Kiwi is a sweet and tangy fruit known to thrive in tropical regions. Surprisingly, Kiwi trees thrive pretty well in the Bulgarian climate, but fruit production is still rising. You’ll find Kiwis from October to April, though only around 10% of them are locally-grown.
Grapes are one of the most versatile fruits, made into wine, rakia, jams, eaten raw, dried, or in deserts. Thus, no surprise that grapes are also one of the most prized fruits in the market. The grape season in Bulgaria is from August until November. Most grapes available in the stores are produced locally.
Apricots and Peaches
Apricots are both summer fruits, though the latter is more popular, and its availability is longer in the market. Nevertheless, don’t expect to see them in December, taking their season preference into account. Though you may luckily find one, it’s not advisable to purchase or eat them as they may have been there for a long time.
Persimmons’ ripening season happens in late autumn, which means they become available on the market and store shelves by November to December. Even gardens grow these fruits, so it would be a piece of cake to find them during the high season. Curious if they are used in rakia? Well, you should already know the answer.
Medlar is not a common fruit, and the probability is you might not be even aware of it. This fruit hails from the rose family. It has been cultivated and grown during Roman times, but today is only produced in small gardens. Markets don’t typically offer them as they are pretty unpopular, but once you find one, you can be assured that it’s grown in Bulgaria.
Another unpopular fruit is the Quince, which resembles a pear. It has a sweet guava odor, yet can is too astringent when eaten raw, which is why they are most eaten on jams, desert, or used in making rakia. You can find them in late autumn and rarely until winter. Since they are not grown widely locally, the ones you’ll see are most likely produced in the country.
With a lot of choices, it’s very enticing to eat fruits in Bulgaria. But, of course, you’d want to save money while getting the chance to enjoy these treats from nature. Fortunately, you can easily make good purchases at fruit markets and seasonal roadside stores. They offer fruits at relatively lower prices compared to groceries and supermarkets. Remember to check too when if the fruit is in season, the price plunge during the said period, and you’ll get to relish plenty of your favorite fruit.