Our first taste of a little known (and truly delightful!) country!
Good evening Twisties,
Tonight’s snacks come to us from one of the oldest countries in Europe… Bulgaria! Sometimes, before I do the write-up for one of these fun tastings, I wind up doing lots of research to make sure I really understand a country prior to posting about snacks, and never before have I had to do so much research like I have on Bulgaria – everything I thought I knew was wrong! “Bulgaria was part of the USSR” – Nope, though they were once allies. “Bulgaria was split off after the Balkan war”- Nope, Bulgaria wasn’t even involved! “Bulgaria and Britain don’t get along”- Nope, we’re both allies and a part of NATO. Oh Twisties, if you think you know everything on a topic, take a leaf out of my books and do your research because there is always a chance you don’t know much at all!
One of the things I love most about the snack boxes is that when you open a box, you really get a “feel” of the country. As I read through the notes about violets and honey, I really came to understand what Bulgaria was about. There was something oh so familiar about this box, something so.. European. As the daughter of a beekeeper, honey in cooking really calls to me, and honey in cakes is simply spectacular.
In the snack boxes, there is a little pamphlet explaining a little about the country and one of the facts that really caught my attention with this box is that Bulgaria produces Bulgarian rose oil, which is frequently used in expensive perfumes. I absolutely adore roses in perfumes, and one of my personally favourite fragrances- Givenchy Very Irresistable- contains oils from not less than five rose species! It only takes a little and the delightful fragrance will last on my skin for 2-3 days. It’s feminine, seductive and transfers easily, leaving a lingering reminder of what and who has been. Given that, it was the fragrance I used to bag my betrothed – Not even sorry 😉
Alright lovelies, I won’t keep you waiting any longer. Let’s begin!
This curious carbonated drink has a flavour of Etar, a flavour known only to Bulgaria. The flavour is described as one resembling fruit, caramel and honey, but what that flavour is exactly still remains a mystery.
Winner or Binner? We couldn’t detect caramel or honey, but that’s not to say that it’s a bad drink, either. It’s a very sweet, mild, slightly fruity flavour and slightly floral, too. The flavour comes and then quickly dissipates, leaving your curious and guessing as to what it might be. It’s similar to Scottish Irm Bru, but considerably milder, and with floral notes. The polls are out on this one as it was a Binner for Matt and a Winner for me. Perhaps just one for those of us with a milder palate!
These crunchy corn puffs have a popular flavour of sour cream and dill. The bag is a rather generous size and would be perfect for parties after lockdown!
Winner or Binner? For a moment, these puffs had me worrying that I’d somehow contracted Covid-19 as despite their strong initial smell, I just didn’t find them to have much flavour. Anxieties allayed when it wasn’t just me who couldn’t taste them, we agreed that these puffs are just a bit disappointing. You do get loads in a bag and the small flecks of dried dill are wonderful touch, but in terms of flavour, they just don’t seem to have much of it. Sorry, Bulgaria, it’s a Binner.
Essentially, Kubeti are teeny, tiny little wheat-rye croutons, this time with a pizza flavour. Our last crunchy, cubic pizza snacks left me with nasty indigestion – hopefully, these won’t do the same!
Winner or Binner? There’s just so much to love going on here. We loved the Link look-a-like and we loved that little ‘Tell Mommy’, too. For so long as I’ve lived, I’ve just never seen that on a packet and honesty, I think it’s adorable, helpful and just generally amazing. As for the snacks? These cubes are just as good as the packaging they come in and probably one of our most memorable and favourite snacks so far. They’re crunchy, they’re tomatoey, they’re herby and there’s plenty -just amazing! A Winner.
A little secret, because beer nuts aren’t really unfamiliar to us here in the UK. Some bars and pubs in the UK have a dispenser at the bar containing warm beer nuts and they dispense them into a little cup for you when you order them, though failing that, you can buy them cold in little tins from a machine in some establishments, too. Matt and I love beer nuts so the competition was on, how to Bulgarian Beer Nuts compare?
Winner or Binner? What is this?! They taste an awful lot like “pub” to us; a little reminder of those things we used to frequent before lockdown. Matt was definitely in agreeance that they would go well with a pint of beer, and I thoroughly enjoyed crunching on these, just as they were. We think the coating on these is slightly thicker, and maybe meatier, too. Another Winner.
Medovinka is a thin, round honey cake, covered in milk chocolate. The bear on the front of the packet is simply adorable, and will definitely be being added to my scrapbook!
Winner or Binner? This cake boasts a sweet, golden, slightly spicy flavour with a thin chocolate coating. The chocolate doesn’t have an awful lot of flavour, but the cake more than makes up for that. It is slightly dry, but definitely not un-bear-ably (sorry, not sorry 😉 ) so. Even still, the flavour is iconically what I’d expect in a honey cake, so it’s a Winner.
Unfortunately, this cake arrived to us in a.. less-than-perfect state. Balkan is a vanilla sponge cake with a thick chocolate cream layer, covered in milk chocolate. We didn’t mess this one around too much, so apologies for only two photos!
Winner or Binner? Despite looking like it’d been dropped down a flight of stairs prior to being shipped to us, this cake is enjoyably light and the filling is both rich and light at the same time. We were detecting a slight hint of some sort of alcoholic flavour (possibly rum?). Either way, we certanly wouldn’t pass these up again! A Winner.
Milkiss boasts a triple cocoa cake, layered with a milk cream. Inspired by an old recipe, we were curious.
Winner or Binner? When you read cake, you expect cake, but Milkiss is more like a soft-baked cookie. It’s rich and slightly chewy too, not too dissimilar to a Chocomallow Pop Tart. It’s too sweet for me, but another Winner for Matt.
Nestlé Mura Black & White
Somehow, in the process of trying snacks, keeping notes and taking pictures, I managed to not take a photograph of the wrapper for this one! If you’re interested, you can take a look here. Nestlé Mura is another cocoa-and-cream treat from Buglaria, this time in wafer form. Let’s check it out!
Winner or Binner? The nice thing about a wafer is that they’re a light way to enjoy flavour without being too filling, and Nestlé Mura was definitely that. The cocoa wafer is slightly bitter, and the cream filling is slightly sweet. Together, they are absolutely perfect. It a Winner wafer for us!
It’s official, I suck at this wrapper business! Sorry, Bulgaria. This Borovets wafer promises an orange and peanut butter filling between crisp wafers. Interesting!
Winner or Binner? When we heard orange and peanut butter, we were hesitant because it doesn’t sound like it would work – and yet it does! The peanut butter gives the filling more of a smooth, creamy texture, and the orange offers a nice, citrusy flavour. It’s also softer than the Mura, if you prefer a softer wafer. Another Winner.
I just can’t even.. these cute, hard-boiled flower-shaped sweets have the flavour of violet. I love the Parma Violets we have here in the UK, so I was oh-so-eager to give them a go!
Winner or Binner? These are exactly like Parma Violets, but hard and with a slightly more perfumed flavour. You’ll either like them or you’ll loathe them, just like Parma Violets themselves. Matt hates them, I love them. I also wanted to varnish one of these adorable little flowers and put it on a pendant – too cute!
A Bulgarian dessert bar, Svoge Republika consists of a cocoa nougat, covered in milk chocolate. It all sounded very sweet to us!
Winner or Binner? Texturally, this bar is exactly like a Milky Way (without the caramel, for our US friends!). It’s soft, light, chocolatey and a little bit chewy. A nice treat, we made this one a Winner!
When we opened up the snack box, one of our first questions was about this little treat wrapped in tin foil. Were we.. you know.. allowed this? It looked.. illegal! Rest assured, nobody had sneaked something dubious into our box – this fondant-chocolate dessert was, in fact, just another taste of Bulgaria!
Winner or Binner? When I hear ‘fondant’ (and maybe even when you hear ‘fondant’ too!), my first thoughts are on that really runny, glacé icing stuff, but this is a firm, almost crumbly fondant. It’s very sweet and not too dissimilar to fondant, ready-to-roll icing. It’s interesting for sure, but far, far too sweet for us. Sorry, Bulgaria, this dessert is a Binner.
What Surprised Us Most Was…
I think this gets handed to the Tamenuzhki drops – I just would not shut up about the Temenuzhki drops! I think asides that, just how wrong I was about countries on the Black Sea. I was expecting more Mediterranean flavours, but they weren’t, at all. Buglaria is a mountainous country, and we felt that the flavours in this box were far more reflective of that than they were of a country on the coast. It just goes to show – never judge a book by it’s cover!
Alright lovelies, I hope you enjoyed this snack-tasting. I hear from so many of you about how much you love reading these posts, and it’s always really great to know that the extra calories are worth it! Have have you ever visited Bulgaria? Do you have any stories or memories to share? Why not share your stories in the comments?
Until next time,
Stay safe & have fun,
Helen & Matt xx