I was in Italy in the beautiful and picturesque Toscolano Maderno on the hills above Lago di Garda and some foreign friends were curious about Bulgaria and some distinctive features of my home country. I took few moments to reflect on this question as very often the common things to us turn uncommon and fascinating to others not native to our local places. And I started telling a story about the unique Bulgarian landscapes 2/3 of which are breath taking mountains and highest on the Balkan peninsula, the plain fertile land north and south capturing lots of sun, the very special tender yoghurt due to the very specific bacteria it nurtures, the lovely fields of lavender and Bulgaria being the leading producer of lavender oil, the famous Bulgarian roses in the Rose valley spreading in between two mountain ranges Stara Planina and Sredna Gora and suppling producers of refined perfumes, the wine that has made a great progress in the past 10 years and many more things to tell. And also the creative energy and artisan spirit that one feels and notices once walking the streets of Sofia, Plovdiv and other towns vs. other European cities.
Purslane ~ love from 1st sight
Could you imagine the world without green? Those beautiful shades of green, from sparkling and translucent in the spring to calm and profound in the autumn? Me not, not at all. Green is the synthesis of life and all the rest of the colours make the life bouquet more vivid and abundant. I love that expression of Nature immensely and green inspires me a lot to play and make food interpretations. In my own Mediterranean way ~ simple and special, full of flavour and inviting us to have a bite, and then another one, and another one. To enjoy the food slowly and with care, and respect. And to be full of happiness and gratitude that each season the Nature is so generous to us with its gifts. We just need to be attentive and bring its fruits to our table.
From Spinach with love
Spinach is perhaps the first greens, which we find on the open markets, a sweet reminder that Spring is here to stay. I love it not only for its vibrant green shades, rich taste, but also because it makes a generous bridge with Winter. Its wholesome flavours, luscious textures and warmth that we gather in our hearts and on the plate. To serve bountiful dishes full of diversity and richness.
Spinach is a wonderful green-leaved veggie to energize our day and meals. It is rich in vit. K, Folic acid (vit. B9), vitamin C and Manganese, and a good source of Iron, Magnesium, Riboflavin (vit. B2) and vit. B6, so precious for important processes and flows in our body and mind. Nurturing our immune and gut strength. Spinach contains high level of oxalates, preventing the absorption of Iron and Calcium in the stomach and small intestines, and some nutritionists recommend consuming it cooked in several changes of water, for its more wholesome acceptance. I always recommend balance and diversity in the basket of veggies and products, which we include in our weekly diet, in order to bring variety and rotation, and avoid the concentration of specific nutrients in our body. Similar is for spinach not to overdo it! This has been my philosophy for years ~ moderation and variety, the heart of the Medditeranean diet philosophy😊