cucumber

29. Bulgaria: Tarator

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Bulgaria the oldest country in Europe. After WWII Bulgaria fell under the Sovjet regime where it became communist republic, in 1989 Bulgaria became independent but the communist architecture can still be found throughout the country. Sofia has been the capital of Bulgaria since 1879. The roots of Sofia date back to the 5th century. Nowadays Sofia is Europe’s cheapest capital for shopping, so shop till you drop! At about 10 minutes from Sofia there is a beautiful skiing resort called Vitosha. Apart from an rich history, cheap shopping and beautiful skiing resort Bulgaria also has a stunning nature; green forests, mighty rivers and over 40 large mountains with beautiful fairytale like mountain villages.

Bulgaria

Here are some fun facts about Bulgaria

  • Bulgaria is the only country in the world to have fired an elected municipal official over playing Farmville. In 2010, Dimitar Kerin, a Plovdiv city councilor, was dismissed in order to “have more time to tend to his virtual farm”. (Well they certainly have their priorities straight!)
  • Bulgarians express approval by shaking their heads rather than nodding.
  • Name Days” are celebrated in addition to birthdays in Bulgaria. As a matter of fact, most Bulgarians value their ‘Name Day’ more than their birthday. A Name Day, or “Saints Day” is celebrated by people named after a particular Saint.
  • Michael Palin upset Bulgarians by saying it is most famous for it’s gypsies (How ignorant can you be, Michael Palin?)

So this recipe is what I would call the gazpacho of Eastern Europe! It’s a perfect dish to bring to the beach on a hot summer day, or to bring to a picnic! It’s quick, refreshing and tasty!

taratorIngredients: 2 large cucumbers, 2 garlic cloves, 5 tbsp of fresh dille finely chopped, 1l yoghurt, 3 tbsp of crushed walnuts, 3 tbsp olive oil, salt to taste

 Peel cucumbers and chop into very small dices. Mince garlic cloves, sprinkle with the salt and olive oil and add to the cucumbers. Add yoghurt, walnuts and chopped dill and some cold water to adjust density according to your taste. Keep into refrigerator until ready to serve. Serve with an ice cube in every bowl
Here is some Bulgarian music

23. Bhutan: Cucumbersalad

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Bhutan, a country surrounded by the enormous mountains of the Himalaya. Bhutan has always fascinated me, because it’s kind of closed off country, only a certain amount of tourists can visit Bhutan. They are the definition of a green country, they try so hard to keep the nature intact! For instance: Bhutan is the first country in the world with specific constitutional obligations on its people to protect the environment. Among its requirements: At least 60 percent of the nation must remain under forest cover at all times. I think they are the perfect example to the rest of the world, we should all care more about the environment. I’m not saying that every country should implement a law like this, but we are not doing our utmost best to stop global warming.

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So here you go some more fun facts about Bhutan:

  • The capital of Bhutan is Thimphu. It is the only capital city in the world without traffic lights! When a test set was put in place residents complained because they were too impersonal; within days they were taken down and the traditional method – men in white gloves at either end of the main street – was reinstated.
  • In Bhutan, all citizens officially become one year older on New Year’s Day.
  • Bhutan is the only country in the world that absorbs more CO2 than it gives out. It is also the only country whose largest export is renewable energy, which is hydroelectric power.
  • Healthcare and education is free in Bhutan for both residents and visitors, despite it’s poverty.
  • Television and internet was banned in Bhutan until 1999. The internet was a gift to his subjects from King Jigme Singye to celebrate his Silver Jubilee in 2000.
  • All tourists have to travel with a tour operator and pay a minimum fee of $250 per day to visit Bhutan, making it both expensive and a giant pain for backpackers to visit.

This is such an odd yet amazing country! Off course some things are ridiculous, but free healthcare and education for EVERYONE! That is just amazing and admirable! As I said I think the rest of the world can learn a lot from Bhutan! And this not even half of the amazing things I found about Bhutan! Seriously there is so much more but I can’t write down everything because that would make this post crazy long and a bit unfair to the other countries! This recipe is super simple and is mainly used as side dish next to spicy stuff.

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Ingredients: 1 Cucumber, 1 green chili, 1 red onion, feta cheese, cilantro

Dice the onion, cucumber and feta. Take the seeds out of the chili and chop it fine as you can.  Sprinkle over cilantro. That’s it! Super healthy!