Bulgaria's National Liquor Rakia Touted as Cure for Deadly E. ColiHealth | June 10, 2011, Friday // 14:55| views
The popular local drink, made of well fermented, stewed plums or grape and sold in glass narrow-necked bottles, is most loved when produced in the small distilling factories of small villages. Photo by BGNES
New data released in Bulgaria strongly suggests that the locally produced alcoholic drink rakia may be an efficient cure for the outbreak of E. Coli, which involves a previously unknown strain of the bacterium.
"The traditional Bulgarian shopska salad can easily get you infected with intestinal bacteria, including the deadly new strain of E. Coli. But if you also drink rakia, the risk decreases," Bozhidar Popov, head of the local diet association, announced.
His advice will certainly be heeded by Bulgarians, for whom drinking rakia has turned into a cultural activity.
A shopska salad with a glass of rakia has long been the epitome of Bulgarian hospitality, while its touted role of a flawless trouble-shooter - a standing joke among Bulgarians themselves.
The popular local drink, made of well fermented, stewed grapes or plums and sold in glass narrow-necked bottles, is most loved when produced in the micro distilleries of small villages.
In Bulgaria the liquor, taken as some to be a digestive, is taken before the meal, which to many foreigners is one of the first culture shocks they face here.
Many Bulgarians have become almost professionals in the art of drinking, turning it into one of the more notable traits of the nation – they are generally capable of gulping down amazing quantities of hard liquor before tumbling into unconsciousness.
Besides, home-brewed rakia comes out much less demanding on the wallet than a visit to the theater or cinema. It is small wonder than scenes of teens hitting the bottle, suffering binge misadventures on holidays or overindulging on weekend nights are quite common.
Even today foreigners who visit the country are swooned by the low drink prices and often surpass their usual quota.
"Obviously, the rakia kills the bacteria. That does not mean you have to drink all the time," Bozhidar Popov warns.
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