Traditional drinks of the region of Nis and Kyustendil
Once upon a time, the most important drink was water, which the population collected from springs or wells. Non-alcoholic beverages, due to the abundance of quality fruit and mineral water sources in Serbia, produce a large number of quality juices and carbonated and non-carbonated mineral waters. A domestic drink called boza, which is made from corn and yeast, is also characteristic. Yeast is also a non-alcoholic substitute for beer. Coffee, which is called Turkish or black, is very popular in Serbia. Although less popular, tea is also consumed, as well as yogurt and kefir.
The country of Serbia, with its geographical origin, is an ideal climate for growing fruit crops. A large number of sunny days and a high sugar content in the fruit, makes this climate ideal for the production of quality alcoholic beverages. Of the alcoholic beverages, the most common was wine, more red than white, mead, especially in areas where grapes and beer were not grown. Medovina is an old Slavic drink that was drunk not only in Serbia, but also in other Balkan countries, as well as in the north. The production of brandy by distillation is not mentioned during the Middle Ages. This custom originated later. During the period under Turkish rule, Serbia became a well-known producer of brandy, especially plum brandy. Today, in addition to plum brandy, various types of grapefruit, william, cider, stomach, quince, juniper, apricot, walnut, wormwood, lynx and many others are popular.
World trends in wine production are carefully monitored, quality wine equipment is procured and modern technological procedures are introduced. A number of winemakers have reached an enviable level of quality of their wine products. As a result of the demand trend for high quality wines with geographical origin, modern, young orchards are dominated by white wine varieties: Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Burgundy white, Rhine Riesling, Italian Riesling, Burgundy gray, etc., and due to lack of domestic red wine and consumer interest in high quality. red wines with a geographical origin, currently there are many vineyards with red wine varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and to a lesser extent with the varieties Burgundy black, Frankovka and Portugizer. However, in previous years, a number of wine and table varieties were introduced into the domestic assortment, which have not had a tradition of cultivation in our country so far (Tempranillo, Fifth Verdo, Syrah, Marseille, Black Magic, Victoria, Matilda, Prima, Michel Paljeri and others).
Fruit growing has been the largest food industry in the region of Kyustendil for many years. It is no coincidence that the region was known not only in our country but also abroad as the “orchard of Bulgaria”. Appropriate climatic and soil conditions in this beautiful area have affected fruit growing to develop in it since ancient times, as evidenced by images of pautal money from 2-3 centuries and messages from travelers from later times. Until half a century ago, the inhabitants of Kyustendil were known in Bulgaria as “plum growers”.
Plum production in the region of Kyustendil has been increasing too much since the middle of the last century. At that time, a significant part of plums began to be exported via Thessaloniki to Marseilles and some other Western European markets, mostly in a dry state under the name “Turkish plums”. The development of this branch of fruit growing was contributed by the fact that there was a lack of railways. transportation until the beginning of this century, their transportation in dried form (baked in numerous plum brandies in the villages), as well as boiling the famous Kyustendil plum brandy from them provided a good income to farmers.
In the region of Kyustendil, vineyards are grown to meet local wine needs. There are memories of viticulture even before the Liberation, and according to the stories of old people from the village, Agata made the villagers plant a vineyard for him. In plowed and leveled levels, they made holes with iron bars and pricked them with sticks cut during the cutting of vineyards. Some villagers deliberately placed the sticks upside down, but to their surprise they still caught them.
Brandy masters claim that good brandy is made only from quality raw materials. “Raw” is a fruit that is well ripened and contains a lot of sugar. The most popular are grapes, plums and apricots, because brandy can be only one type of fruit (grapes, plum brandy) or mixed, then it is called fruit brandy. In the Valley of Roses in Bulgaria, giul brandy is produced by fermenting oil rose petals, with or without the addition of sugar, vinegar and / or alcohol. Various additives can also be added to obtain varieties of the main product. In Dobrogea, for example, there is a custom of separating the damajana or other large vessel, the so-called “first” brandy, with the highest alcohol content, and gradually adding different types of fruit in the order of ripening. This is done until there is almost no liquid left, but a collection of “drunk” fruit that is served with a spoon. The specialty is called “bole” and is designed for ladies.