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Wednesday, 13 February 2019

The increasing Westernisation of Bulgaria as demonstrated through avocado availability


Kaufland didn’t have any avocados the other day. Just typing that sentence makes me realise how much Bulgaria has changed since we first came here in 2011.

I don’t think I saw an avocado in a local shop until … maybe 2014? 2015, even? I mean, you’d see them on menus in Sofia, of course, but for sale in Etropole? No way.

Then, one local veg shop started occasionally offering some outrageously expensive, puny avocados – which I’d gladly hoover up, regardless of their price and diminutive size. Kaufland would also stock them every now and then, slightly cheaper, too.

Things really changed about a year ago. BOOM! Suddenly it was Avocado Central around here. More than one shop in Etropole had avocados in stock pretty much all the time. Kaufland had avocados permanently on offer. We slipped back into our Waitrose-loving, Guardianista snowflake ways, eating smashed avo on toast every week. Living the Millennial dream, like the horrible clich├ęs we are.

So when there weren’t any avocados in stock at the supermarket last week, I was … confused, bereft. They can’t take my avocados away from me, I fumed. This is an outrage. I demand avocados!

Anyway, I’m sure it was just a temporary blip, but it goes to show how different things are these days. And how we’ve once again got used to having easy access to life’s little luxuries. Rob ordered a burrito in a restaurant in Botevgrad the other week. A burrito! I remember when, outside of Sofia, we’d struggle to find much more than shopska salad and cheesy chips on the menu. (Partly, to be fair, due to our middling language skills, but also because most local restaurants really did only offer the same few dishes.)

And in other food-slash-national-development news, a KFC has just opened up about 10 miles from our house. I’m not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, it’s a distressing sign of the increasing Westernisation of the mad, unique country that we love. But on the other hand, well, KFC’s Fillet Tower Burger. I mean, it’s a chicken burger with cheese and a hash brown on top. What’s not to love about that?