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Rise your hand if lately, you’ve picked ripe tomatoes from the vine, peppers and eggplants from the garden, melons and watermelons from the field, and figs from the tree. No? I’m not surprised.

This weekend, I went back to Kapatovo, the picturesque village in the Melnik region where my father was born. I indulged in the sun, the clean air, and the fresh fruit and vegetables.

I’m glad that the Bulgarian countryside is full of such villages where life hasn’t changed for the past fifty years. Villages like Kapatovo are inhabited by elderly people who came back to their places of birth after their retirement or by old people who never left and who only sent their children to the big cities.

Life in the villages of the Melnik region is calm. The houses are in the traditional architectural style: with white walls that have grey river-stones in the base, with wooden struts that support the balconies, with red-brick roofs, and large gardens that have wooden huts for the animals or hay.  More and more people renovate the old houses to make them into comfortable summer or retirement villas.

The Melnik region is famous for its red wines, so many of the houses have cellars. The vast vineyards growing on the outskirts of Kapatovo, Levynovo, Kromidovo, and Melnik and the famous wineries are a popular destination for wine and village tourism. The warm weather in the valley and the coolness of the Pirin mountain make the region a true Eden.

Food is clean. People grow their fruit and vegetables and look after domestic animals. And let me tell you, there is no greater pleasure than picking a tomato from the plant and sinking your teeth in it while its sweet juice runs down your arm. When you have such a wonderful place to go to, with kind grandparents and neighbors who love to farm, you stop thinking about Organic and Bio foods and growth hormones and corn starch because the food you are eating is real.

DOWN WITH

Organic,

Sugar-free,

Skim,

Bio,

Cage-free,

Eco…

Just give me real food from Kapatovo!

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