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Bread Festival In The Eastern Rhodopes

Lots of farmers, organic food lovers and tourists attended the unique Eastern Rhodopes Bread Festival, which was held in the Tepavitsata complex in the village of Rabovo, Municipality of Stambolovo on 22 and 23 July. They could see with their own eyes the traditional and authentic spelt bread production: from the harvest until the baking. Guests tasted freshly baked spelt bread made by the initiator of the festival, the farmer Petko Angelov and the master baker Svilen Klasanov, the owner of the vegetarian bakery & restaurant "Sun and Moon" in Sofia.

The reconstruction of an authentic spelt harvest was one of the highlights of the Bread Festival in the Eastern Rhodopes. The Вread Festival is a newborn tradition which took place for the first time in July 2010. The spelt is considered to be the oldest cereal in Bulgaria.

The farmer Petko Angelov is the initiator of the Spelt event. He started with just a hand full of spelt and presently owns 48 acres. The spelt bread is one of the attractions that Petko Angelov and his wife Stefka offer to the tourists in their Tepavitza B&B house in the village of Rabovo.

Petko’s production procedure and his spelt are now in the process of being certified as an organic product and he expects the organic certificate in 2012. For the certification Petko Angelov receives since 2009 expert and financial support by the Bulgarian-Dutch project for sustainable development of the Eastern Rhodopes “The New Thracian Gold” (NTG). The project supports Angelov family also for the completion of their B&B house where they can have around 18 guests.

The great interest in the reconstruction of the spelt harvest inspires Angelov family to make the Bread Festival an Eastern Rhodopes tradition.

At the opening of the festival Mayor of Stambolovo Madzhid Mandadzha expressed his desire the bread festival to become a truly regional fair one day. Assoc. Prof. Vladislav Popov, coordinator on organic farming in the project "The New Thracian Gold" presented Angelov family as an example for combined efforts in organic production and eco-tourism. He expressed his hope other residents of the Eastern Rhodopes be ignited by Angelov’s initiative.

The master baker Svilen Klasanov is planning to start offering in his vegetarian bakery & restaurant "Sun and Moon" in Sofia the spelt bread produced in the Eastern Rhodopes by Petko Angelov. So far, "Sun and Moon" makes bread from imported spelt.

Petko Angelov also received offers to export spelt to Japan and South Korea.

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