It is one of the world’s oldest cities and looks back on around 8,000 years of history: Plovdiv, Bulgaria’s second city and the European Capital of Culture 2019, is a vibrant place. Nearly untouched by mass tourism, it harbours many culinary secrets.
Nicolai Borukov knows all about the diversity found in the food of Bulgaria and Plovdiv: he has been living in the city for 26 years. As the chef and owner of nine restaurants, he has dedicated his life to the deliciously diverse cuisine of Bulgaria. To him, Plovdiv is among the country’s leading culinary regions. It offers countless types of meat, cheese and vegetablesand is blessed with the tasty porcini mushrooms from the Rhodope Mountains.
Regional ingredients and seasonal conditions
Regional ingredients are the secret behind Borukov’s cooking. To come up with a new creation every day, he keeps an eye on the regional produce and allows himself to be inspired time and time again. His guests – tourists as well as locals – appreciate it. Appreciation of fresh, local goods is a relatively recent development in the local restaurant scene. Borukov recalls: “During my first years in Plovdiv, the restaurants were heavily influenced by the socialist era. There was no choice of meats, and frequently, cooking was nothing more than heating up frozen food.”
METRO as a vital link
The introduction of modern wholesale trading contributed to the transformation of Bulgarian cuisine. 20 years ago, METRO opened one of its first stores there. In a way, it was a milestone. Suddenly, the wholesale industry provided a wide range of products, all available from the same place. METRO became a vital link between local producers and farmers, independent retailers and the restaurant sector. With its programme “Nurtured with Care in Bulgaria”, METRO supports local producers and contributes to the economic development of the rural regions together with its customers.
METRO Bulgaria in facts and figures*
- 11 wholesale stores more than 400,000 professional customers
- more than 40,000 food and non-food products
- Delivery sales account for around 14% of revenue
- Programme “Nurtured with Care in Bulgaria”: partnership with more than 400 regional farmers and producers
* As of: Mai 2019